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Full text of "Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842"

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1838,  1839,  1840,  1841,  184^. 

CHARLES    WILKES,    U.  S.  N. 



VOL.    III. 








I.\-  THE  clerk's  office  of  the  district  court  for  the  district  of  COLUMBIA. 


'tat.  Oilice  U13, 

sterkotvpkd  nr  j.  faoan. 
printed  by  C«.«I1ERMAN. 




1*  .  w 











LAU 139-162 





BAY 163—202 






BROUGHT  BY  THEM 237—262 









VOL.   III.  B 













Nukualofa,  Toxga. 



Ngaraningiou's  House. 

Queen  of  Rewa. 


Club  Dance. 

Biciie  de  Mar  Housf 

Tombs  at  Mutiiuata. 

Observatory  Peak. 

Valley  of  Voona. 

Pali,  Oahu. 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  C.  A.  Jewett,  3 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  Rawdon,  Wright  and  Hatch,  56 
Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  W.  C.  Armstrong,  109 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  J.  F.  E.  Prudhomme,  119 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  Welch  and  Walters,  127 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  J.  W.  Paradise,  136 

Drawn  by  J.  Drayton. 

Engraved  by  Rawdon  Wright  and  Hatch,  190 
Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  J.  F.  E.  Prudhomme,  220 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  J.  Smillie,  231 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  Jordan  and  Halpin,  239 

Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  Jordan  and  Halpin,  292 

Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  J.  B.  Neagle.  391 

Tonga  Gateway. 


Sketched  by  C.  Wilkes,  U.  S.  N. 

Engraved  by  Wm.  H.  Dougal, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  0.  A.  Jewett, 




Tanoa's  Canot:. 



Wailevu  or  Peale's  River. 

Waicama,  Feejee. 

MuTHUATA,  Feejee. 

Henry's  Island. 

Upper  Town,  Somu-somu. 

Feejee  Pottery. 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  J.  N.  Gimbrede,  54 

Sketched  by  J.  Drayton. 

Engraved  by  Smillie  and  Hinchelwood,  86 

Sketched  by  T.  R.  Peale, 

Engraved  by  G.  B.  Ellis  124 

Sketched  by  J.  Drayton. 

Engraved  by  Smillie  and  Hinchelwood,  197 
Drawn  by  J.  Drayton. 

Engraved  by  Sherman  and  Smith,  226 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  E.  Gallaudet,  272 

Drawn  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  Smillie  and  Hinchelwood,  300 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 

Engraved  by  Sherman  and  Smith,  348 


Tonga  Fence. 

King  George's  House. 



Rotuma  Chief. 

Native  of  Tonga. 

Native  of  Erromago. 


Tui  Levuka. 


Ava  Bowls,  &c. 

Feejee  Girl. 

Feejee  Oracle. 

Cannibal  Cooking-Pots 




Drinking  Vessels. 

Head-dress  of  Chiefs. 

Feejee  Clown. 


Feejee  Baskets,  &c. 

Feejee  Woman. 

Henrietta's  House. 

Front  of  House. 

Dillon's  Rock. 


AsAUA  Woman. 

Feejee  Arms. 

Diagram,  Malolo. 

Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton. | 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.f 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton. 

Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert, 
Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 

Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease, 
Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert, 
Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.j     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.t     Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert, 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton, 

Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.j  Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.t  Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert, 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.     Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert, 

Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.f     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.    Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.j-     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease, 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton, 

Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 
Sketched  by  J.  Drayton, 
Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate. 
Sketched  by  A.  T,  Agate, 
Drawn  by  F.  D.  Stuart 

Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Engraved  by  T.  H.  Mumford, 
Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 
Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease, 
Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 

Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease, 
Engraved  by  T.  H.  Mumford, 
Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler, 






Wild  Feejee  Man.  Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.     Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert,  291 

Feejee  Drum.  Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.t     Engraved  by  R.  O'Brien,  300 

Chief's  House.  Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler,  305 

Monument.  Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler,  311 

Feejee  Drummer.  Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler,  316 

Woman  Braiding,  Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t     Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert,  338 

Maloma.  From  the  Collection.!     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease,  342 

AiRou.  From  the  CoUection.t     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease,  342 

Toka.  From  the  CoUection.t     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease,  343 

Ula.  From  the  CoUection.t     Engraved  by  R.  11.  Pease,  343 
Mode  of  Building  Houses.     Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t     Engraved  by  R.  O'Brien,     344 

Feejee  Canoe.  Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t     Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert,  345 

Cooking-Jars.  Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease,  349 

Mode  of  Drinking.  Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.t     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease,  349 

Mode  of  Sitting.  Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t     Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert,  351 

Mode  of  Sitting.  Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t     Engraved  by  R.  S.  Gilbert,  353 

LiKus.  From  "the  CoUection.t     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler,  355 

Feejee  Wigs,  &c.  From  the  CoUection.t     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler,  364 
Mode  of  Carrying  Burdens.     Sketched  by  J.  Drayton.t     Engraved  by  R.  H.  Pease,  389 

Street,  Honolulu.  Sketched  by  A.  T.  Agate.t     Engraved  by  J.  J.  Butler,  394 

Those  marked  with  a  t,  were  drawn  on  the  wood  by  J.  H.  Manning ;  those  marked 
with  a  t,  by  W.  G.  Armstrong.     Those  not  marked,  by  the  Artists  of  the  Expedition. 









Having  completed  such  repairs  as  were  necessary,  the  Vincennes, 
with  the  Porpoise  and  Flying-Fish  in  company,  sailed  from  the  Bay 
of  Islands  on  the  6th  April,  for  Tongalaboo.  I  believe  that  no  person 
in  the  squadron  felt  any  regret  at  leaving  New  Zealand,  for  there  was 
a  want  of  all  means  of  amusement,  as  well  as  of  any  objects  in  whose 
observation  we  were  interested. 

We  had  at  first  a  light  breeze  from  the  northward  and  westward, 
followed  by  a  calm,  after  which  the  wind  came  round  to  the  southward. 
The  weather  was  remarkably  pleasant. 

Cape  Brett,  according  to  our  observations,  is  erroneously  placed  in 
the  charts,  which  make  it  forty-two  minutes  too  far  to  the  eastward. 
We  experienced  after  sailing  a  current  of  eight  miles  to  the  northward 
in  twenty-four  hours.  On  the  8th  April,  the  current  set  northeast-by- 
north,  half  a  mile  per  hour. 

On  the  9th,  the  sea  was  very  smooth,  and  the  day  calm ;  and  we  not 
only  tried  the  current,  but  the  distance  below  the  surface  at  which  a 
white  object  was  visible.  The  sun's  altitude  was  observed  at  the  same 
time.  These  observations  are  recorded  in  Appendix  I.,  and  it  will  be 
seen  that  the  rate  of  the  current  had  increased  considerably. 



I  was  desirous  to  pass  over  the  positions  of  some  of  the  doubtfu' 
shoals,  and  to  verify  the  longitude  assigned  to  Sunday  Island,  (the 
Raoul  of  D'Entrecasteaux.)  Had  this  not  been  my  design,  I  shorJd 
have  preferred  pursuing  a  more  eastern  route  than  I  did,  which  I  am 
satisfied  would  have  shortened  our  passage  to  Tongataboo.  I  do  not 
conceive,  however,  that  there  is  any  difficulty  in  reaching  that  island, 
or  any  risk  of  falling  to  the  leeward  of  it  at  this  season  of  the  year,  for 
westerly  winds  prevail  in  its  neighbourhood.  We  had  a  light  wind 
from  northeast  to  east-northeast. 

On  the  11th  April,  we  had  reached  latitude  29°  S.,  longitude  178° 
W.,  and  had  on  that  day  a  most  beautiful  halo.  It  was  formed  at  first 
of  the  segments  of  two  great  circles,  the  chords  of  which  subtended  an 
angle  of  54°.  These  gradually  united,  and  formed  a  circle  around  the 
sun,,  whose  diameter  measured  42°,  Its  appearances,  at  2''  40""  and  at 
3  p.  M.,  are  represented  in  the  figure. 

The  parhelia  were  very  distinct,  and  had  spurs  on  their  outer  sides ; 
two  points  in  the  vertical  plane  intersecting  the  sun,  were  very  bi'ight, 
but  did  not  form  parhelia ;  the  sun's  altitude  was  29°  20' :  no  decided 
clouds  were  to  be  seen,  but  the  whole  sky  was  hazy,  and  the  wind 
fresh  from  the  northeast.  About  two  hours  after  this  phenomenon, 
much  lightning  occurred,  with  torrents  of  rain,  but  no  thunder,  and 
this  continued  throughout  the  night.     Tlie  barometer  stood  at  29-99  in  ; 


thermometer  71°  75'.  The  weather  by  six  in  the  morning  had  cleared, 
and  we  had  the  wind  light  from  the  westward.  The  clouds  were  seen 
flying  rapidly  from  the  northeast. 

On  the  13th  the  wind  still  continued  from  the  southward  and  west- 
ward, but  light  clouds  were  still  flying  from  east-northeast,  and  the  sea 
was  rough  and  uncomfortable.  We  had  passed  over  the  place  as- 
signed to  the  Rosetta  Shoal,  and  I  believe  I  may  safely  state  it  does 
not  exist  in  that  place. 

On  the  14th  we  made  Sunday  Island,  the  Raoul  of  D'Entrecasteaux. 
It  is  high  and  rugged,  and  had  every  appearance  of  being  volcanic ; 
the  rocks  rise  like  basaltic  columns.  The  island  aftbrds  no  anchorage, 
and  the  wind  being  light,  I  was  not  able  to  get  near  enough  to  send  a 
boat  to  land  and  procure  specimens ;  the  sea,  also,  was  very  rough. 
Sunday  Island,  according  to  our  observations,  lies  in  latitude  29°  12'  S., 
and  longitude  178°  15'  W.,  which  agrees  well  with  its  established  posi- 
tion ;  it  is  said  to  be  inhabited  by  a  few  white  men,  and  some  of  the 
officers  reported  that  they  saw  smoke. 

On  the  15th,  we  fell  in  with  the  Tobacco  Plant,  American  whaler, 
Swain,  master,  that  left  the  United  States  about  the  same  time  we  did. 
She  had  not  been  very  successful.  A  singular  circumstance  is  con- 
nected with  this  ship  during  her  cruise :  H.  B.  M.  ship  Herald,  Captain 
Nias,  whom  we  met  in  Sydney,  picked  up,  several  months  since,  ofl" 
Java  Head,  four  hundred  miles  from  land,  a  whale-boat,  with  six  men, 
who  reported  to  Captain  Nias  that  they  had  left  the  ship  Tobacco  Plant, 
which  had  been  burnt  at  sea.  They  were  taken  on  board  the  Herald, 
most  kindly  treated,  brought  and  landed  in  New  South  Wales.  The 
crew  of  the  Herald  presented  them  with  £100,  and  Captain  Nias 
allowed  them  to  sell  their  boat ;  besides  all  this,  they  were  amply  sup- 
plied with  clothes.  This  report  of  the  loss  of  the  ship  seemed  placed 
-beyond  contradiction,  and  to  meet  her  afterwards  caused  us  great 
surprise.  A  day  or  two  after  we  had  lost  sight  of  the  ship,  a  man 
whom  I  had  taken  on  board  as  a  distressed  seaman,  confessed  that  he 
had  deserted  from  her,  and  also  informed  us  that  the  six  men  had  left 
the  ship  at  sea  in  an  open  boat,  in  consequence  of  the  ill  treatment  they 
had  received  from  the  captain,  and  the  short  allowance  of  provisions 
on  board.  The  manner  in  which  they  carried  on  their  deception  upon 
Captain  Nias,  his  officers,  and  crew,  was  remarkable,  and  shows  how 
much  commiseration  all  classes  of  men  feel  for  those  in  distress,  and 
how  unwilling  they  are  to  scrutinize  a  tale  of  sorrow,  when  they  have 
the  apparent  evidence  before  them  of  its  truth.  These  men  were 
upwards  of  twenty  days  on  board  the  Herald,  and  yet  I  was  told  that 

A '2 

6  T  O  N  G  A  T  A  B  O  O. 

they  were  throughout  consistent  in  their  account  of  the  alleged  mis- 
fortune, and  apparently  showed  much  proper  feeling  for  the  fate  that 
had  befallen  their  companions. 

Until  the  19th  we  had  light  breezes ;  in  the  afternoon  of  this  day 
we  saw  the  appearance  of  a  water-spout,  forming  about  half  a  mile 
from  the  ship ;  the  water  was  seen  flying  up,  as  if  from  a  circle  of  fifty 
feet  in  diameter,  throwing  off"  jets  from  the  circumference  of  the  circle, 
not  unlike  a  willow  basket  in  shape,  and  having  a  circular  motion  from 
right  to  left ;  there  was  a  heavy  black  cloud  over  it,  but  no  descending 
tube ;  and  it  did  not  appear  to  have  any  progressive  motion.  Desirous 
of  getting  near,  I  kept  the  ship  off  for  it,  but  we  had  little  wind ;  the 
cloud  dispersed,  and  the  whole  was  dissipated  before  we  got  near  to  it. 
The  electrometer  showed  no  change. 

The  next  day,  the  20th  of  April,  in  latitude  24°  26'  S.,  longitude 
174°  47'  30"  W.,  we  took  the  trades  from  about  east :  passed  over  the 
position  assigned  to  the  island  of  Vasquez,  but  saw  nothing  of  it. 
Some  appearance  of  land  existing  to  the  eastward,  the  Porpoise  was 
despatched  to  look  for  it. 

On  the  22d,  we  made  the  island  of  Eooa,  and  that  of  Tongataboo. 
The  wind  the  whole  day  was  very  variable,  with  squalls  and  heavy 
rain  ;  and  it  being  too  late  to  run  through  the  long  canal  that  leads  to 
the  harbour,  I  deemed  it  most  prudent  to  haul  off  for  the  night.  A 
southerly  current  drove  us  further  off'  than  I  anticipated,  and  we  did 
not  succeed  the  next  day  in  regaining  our  position ;  we  experienced 
much  lightning  and  rain,  with  the  wind  strong  from  the  eastward. 
On  the  24th,  at  1  p.  m.,  we  rounded  the  eastern  end  of  Tongataboo, 
and  stood  down  through  the  Astrolabe  canal.  This  is  a  dangerous 
passage,  and  ought  not  to  be  attempted  when  the  wind  is  variable  or 
light ;  it  is  nine  miles  in  length,  and  passes  between  two  coral  reefs, 
where  there  is  no  anchorage ;  it  was  at  the  western  end  of  it  that  the 
Astrolabe  was  near  being  wrecked  in  1827.  It  is  from  half  to  one 
mile  wide,  gradually  narrowing,  until  the  small  island  of  Mahoga 
appears  to  close  the  passage.  When  nearly  up  to  this  island,  the 
passage  takes  a  short  and  narrow  turn  to  the  northward ;  in  turning 
round  into  this  pass,  I  was  aware  of  a  coral  patch,  laid  down  by  the 
Astrolabe,  and  hauled  up  to  avoid  it,  by  passing  to  the  eastward ;  but 
the  danger  was  nearer  the  reef  than  laid  down,  and  the  sun's  glare 
being  strong,  we  were  unable  to  see  it,  and  ran  directly  upon  it.  For 
a  moment  the  ship's  way  was  stopped,  but  the  obstacle  broke  under 
her,  and  we  proceeded  on  to  the  anchorage  off  Nukualofa,  the  residence 
of  King  Josiah,  alias  Tubou.     In  our  survey  of  the  above  passage,  no 


shoal  was  found  in  the  place  where  the  ship  had  struck,  and  we  had 
the  satisfaction  of  knowing  that  we  had  destroyed  it  without  injury  to 
the  vessel. 

The  tender  had  arrived  before  us,  and  I  found  also  here  the  British 
vessel  Currency  Lass.  This  harbour,  when  it  is  reached,  is  a  safe 
one,  and  is  well  protected  by  the  reefs. 

Nukualofa  is  a  station  of  the  Wesleyan  Mission,  the  heads  of  which, 
Messrs.  Tucker  and  Rabone,  paid  me  a  visit,  and  from  them  I  learnt 
that  the  Christian  and  Devil's  parties  were  on  the  point  of  hostilities ; 
that  Taufaahau  or  King  George,  of  Vavao,  had  arrived  with  eight 
hundred  warriors,  for  the  purpose  of  carrying  on  the  war,  and  putting 
an  end  to  it. 

The  islands  of  Tongataboo  and  Eooa  are  the  two  southern  islands 
of  the  Hapai  Group  (the  Friendly  Isles  of  Cook)  ;  the  former  is  a  low, 
level  island,  while  that  of  Eooa  is  high.  The  highest  part  of  Tonga- 
taboo  is  only  sixty  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  while  that  of  Eooa 
rises  about  six  hundred  feet ;  the  strait  between  them  is  eight  miles 
wide.  Tonga  is  extremely  fruitful,  and  covered  with  foliage,  and 
contains  ten  thousand  inhabitants ;  while  that  of  Eooa  is  rocky  and 
barren,  and  contains  only  two  hundred  inhabitants. 

Believing  that  I  might  exert  an  influence  to  reconcile  the  parties, 
and  through  my  instrumentality  restore  the  blessings  of  peace,  I 
proffered  my  services  to  that  effect,  which  were  warmly  accepted  by 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Tucker.  I  therefore  sent  a  message  to  the  chiefs 
of  the  Christian  party,  to  meet  me  in  fono  in  the  morning,  and  late 
at  night  received  a  notice  that  they  would  be  prepared  to  receive  me. 
On  the  morning  of  the  24th,  I  landed,  with  all  the  officers  that  could 
be  spared  from  other  duties ;  we  were  received  on  the  beach  by  Mr. 
Tucker,  and  were  at  once  surrounded  by  a  large  number  of  natives. 
It  was  impossible  not  to  be  struck  with  the  great  difference  between 
these  people  and  those  we  had  just  left  in  New  Zealand ;  nothing  of 
the  morose  and  savage  appearance  so  remarkable  there,  was  seen; 
here  all  was  cheerfulness  and  gaiety;  all  appeared  well-fed  and  well- 
formed,  with  full  faces  and  muscles.  The  number  of  children  particu- 
larly attracted  our  notice,  in  striking  contrast  to  the  New  Zealand 
groups,  where  few  but  men  were  seen.  In  a  few  minutes  we  heard 
the  native  drum,  calling  the  warriors  and  people  together;  we  went  a 
short  distance  along  the  beach,  passed  into  the  fortification,  and  up  a 
gentle  acclivity,  on  the  top  of  which  is  now  the  Mission  church,  and 
the  house  of  King  Tubou.  On  our  way  up  we  passed  by  the  drum,  or 
as  it  is  here  called,  toki,  which  is  a  large  hollow  log,  not  unlike  a  pig- 
trough,  made  of  hard,  sonorous  wood ;    it  is  struck  with  a  mallet. 

8  TON  G  A  T  A  B  O  O. 

shaped  somewhat  Uke  that  used  by  stone-cutters  ;  it  gives  a  sound  not 
unlike  a  distant  gong,  and  it  is  said  may  be  heard  from  seven  to  ten 

From  the  top  of  this  hill  (sixty  feet  high,  and  the  most  elevated 
point  on  the  island)  there  is  an  extensive  view,  over  the  island  on  one 
hand,  and  on  the  other  over  the  encircling  reefs  and  the  deep  blue  sea. 
I  felt  familiar  with  the  scenes  around  me,  from  the  description  I  had 
often  read  in  Mariner's  Tonga  Islands,  and  feel  great  pleasure  in  con- 
firming the  admirable  and  accurate  description  there  given.  The 
names  we  heard  were  famihar  to  us,  and  we  found,  through  the  natives 
and  missionaries,  that  many  of  the  descendants  of  the  persons  of  whom 
he  speaks  were  present. 

I  was  within  the  fortification  of  Nukualofa,  the  scene  of  many  of 
the  exploits  which  Mariner  relates.  I  was  now  surrounded  by  large 
numbers  of  warriors,  all  grotesquely  dressed  and  ready  for  the  fight, 
with  clubs,  spears,  and  muskets.  In  addition  to  the  usual  tapa  around 
their  waist,  they  had  yellow  and  straw-coloured  ribands,  made  of  the 
pandanus-leaves,  tied  around  their  arms  above  the  elbows,  on.  their 
legs  above  and  below  the  knees,  and  on  their  bodies :  some  had  them 
tied  and  gathered  up  in  knots ;  others  wore  them  as  scarfs — some  on 
the  right  shoulder,  some  on  the  left,  and  others  on  both  shoulders. 
Some  of  these  sashes  were  beautifully  white,  about  three  inches  wide, 
and  quite  pliable.  Many  of  them  had  fanciful  head-dresses,  some  with 
natural  and  others  with  artificial  flowers  over  their  turbans  (called 
sala) ;  and  nearly  all  had  their  faces  painted  in  the  most  grotesque 
manner,  with  red,  yellow,  white,  and  black  stripes,  crossing  the  face 
in  all  directions.  Some  were  seen  with  a  jet  black  face  and  vermilion 
nose ;  others  with  half  the  face  painted  white.  When  a  body  of  some 
eight  hundred  of  these  dark-looking,  well-formed  warriors,  all  eager 
for  the  fight,  and  going  to  and  fro  to  join  their  several  companies,  is 
seen,  it  is  hardly  possible  to  describe  the  effect.  The  scene  was  novel 
in  the  extreme,  and  entirely  unexpected,  for  I  considered  that  we  were 
on  a  mission  of  peace.  A  few  minutes'  conversation  with  Mr.  Tucker 
accounted  for  it  all.  The  evening  before,  the  "Devil's"  party,  it 
appeared,  had  attacked  their  yam-grounds  ;  some  of  the  natives  were 
wounded  on  both  sides  ;  and  great  fear  had  been  entertained  that  they 
would  have  followed  up  their  attack  even  to  the  town  of  Nukualofa  ; 
most  of  the  warriors  had,  therefore,  been  under  arms  the  whole  night. 

We  were  led  through  all  this  confusion  to  the  small  hut  of  Tubou 
or  King  Josiah  :  here  we  were  presented  to  his  majesty,  with  whom 
I  shook  hands.  He  was  sitting  on  a  mat  winding  a  ball  of  sennit, 
which  he  had  been  making,  and  at  w^hich  occupation  he  continued  for 


the  most  part  of  the  time.  He  has  the  appearance  of  being  about 
sixty  years  old  ;  his  figure  is  tall,  though  much  bent  with  age  ;  he  has 
a  fine  dignified  countenance,  but  is  represented  as  a  very  imbecile  old 
man,  fit  for  any  thing  but  to  rule ;  as  domestic  and  affectionate  in  his 
family,  caring  little  about  the  aflfairs  of  government,  provided  he  can 
have  his  children  and  grandchildren  around  him  to  play  with,  in  which 
amusement  he  passes  the  most  of  his  time.  Seats  were  provided  for 
us  from  the  missionaries'  houses,  and  were  placed  in  the  hut,  whose 
sides  being  open,  gave  us  a  full  view  of  all  that  was  passing  without. 
King  Josiah,  with  his  nearest  relatives  and  the  highest  chiefs,  about 
ten  in  number,  occupied  the  hut,  together  with  the  missionaries  and 
ourselves.  The  warriors  were  grouped  about  in  little  squads,  in  their 
various  grotesque  accoutrements. 

When  all  was  apparently  ready,  we  waited  some  few  minutes  for 
King  George.  When  he  made  his  appearance,  I  could  not  but  admire 
him :  he  is  upwards  of  six  feet  in  height,  extremely  well  proportioned, 
and  athletic ;  his  limbs  are  rounded  and  full ;  his  features  regular  and 
manly,  with  a  fine  open  countenance  and  sensible  face;  all  which  were 
seen  to  the  greatest  advantage.  The  only  covering  he  wore  was  a 
large  white  tapa  or  gnato,  girded  in  loose  folds  around  his  waist,  and 
hanging  to  the  ground,  leaving  his  arms  and  chest  quite  bare.  He  at 
once  attracted  all  eyes ;  for,  on  approaching,  every  movement  showed 
he  was  in  the  habit  of  commanding  those  about  him.  With  unas- 
suming dignity,  he  quietly  took  his  seat  without  the  hut,  and  as  if 
rather  prepared  to  be  a  listener  than  one  who  was  to  meet  us  in 
council.  This  was  afterwards  explained  to  me  by  Mr.  Tucker,  who 
stated  that  King  George  is  not  yet  considered  a  native  chief  of  Tonga, 
and,  notwithstanding  his  actual  power  here  and  at  Vavao,  is  obliged 
to  take  his  seat  among  the  common  people.  On  observing  his  situa- 
tion, and  knowing  him  to  be  the  ruling  chief  de  facto,  I  immediately 
requested  that  he  might  be  admitted  to  the  hut ;  and  he  was  accord- 
ingly requested  to  enter,  which  he  did,  and  seated  himself  at  a  respect- 
ful distance  from  the  king,  to  whom  he  showed  great  and  marked 

Mr.  Rabone,  the  assistant  missionarj^,  was  the  interpreter,  and  the 
conversation  or  talk  that  passed  between  us  was  in  an  undertone. 
The  peculiarity  of  figurative  speech,  common  to  all  the  islanders,  was 
very  marked  in  King  George,  affording  a  condensed,  or  rather  concise 
mode  of  expression,  that  is  indicative  of  sense  and  comprehension. 
They  began  by  assuring  me  of  the  pleasure  it  gave  them  to  see  me, 
when  they  were  just  about  going  to  war,  and  were  in  much  trouble.  I 
proposed  myself  as  a  mediator  between  the  parties,  and  that  each  party 

VOL.  III.  2 


should  appoint  ten  chiefs,  to  meet  under  my  direction  and  protection, 
in  order  to  arrange  all  the  difficulties  between  them ;  that  these  should 
meet  on  neutral  ground,  on  the  island  of  Pangai-Moutu,  about  half- 
way between  the  heathen  fortress  of  Moa  and  Nukualofa.  I  also 
offered  to  send  officers  or  go  myself  to  the  heathen  fortress,  to  make  a 
similar  request  of  them.  With  all  this  they  appeared  pleased,  but  in 
answer  to  it  King  George  simply  asked,  "Will  they  ever  return?" 
After  a  little  conversation,  they  assented  to  my  propositions.  I  then 
took  the  occasion  to  rebuke  them  mildly  for  allowing  their  followers  to 
assemble  in  their  war-dresses,  and  with  so  many  warlike  preparations 
on  such  an  occasion,  telling  them  that  I  thought  it  indicated  any  thing 
but  the  peaceful  disposition,  in  the  belief  of  the  existence  of  which  I 
had  called  the  meeting.  The  affair  concluded  by  their  leaving  the 
whole  matter  to  my  discretion,  and  with  an  assurance  that  they  would 
conform  to  my  decision.  During  the  half  hour  spent  in  this  confe- 
rence, the  whole  multitude  outside  seemed  as  though  they  were  trans- 
fixed to  the  spot,  awaiting  in  anxious  expectation  the  result.  As  King 
Josiah  (who  it  seems  is  exceedingly  prone  to  somnolency)  was  now 
seen  to  be  nodding,  I  judged  it  time  to  move  an  adjournment,  and  the 
council  was  broken  up. 

All  now  became  bustle  and  apparent  confusion ;  every  one  was  in 
motion ;  the  whole  village,  including  the  women  and  children,  carry- 
ing baskets,  hoes,  sticks,  &c.,  besides  their  arms  and  war  instruments : 
all  were  going  to  the  yam-grounds,  expecting  an  engagement  with  the 
heathen.  It  had  a  fine  effect  to  see  them  passing  quickly  through  the 
beautiful  cocoanut-groves,  in  companies  of  fifteen  to  twenty,  in  their 
martial  costumes,  painted,  belted,  and  turbaned,' — some  of  the  finest 
specimens  of  the  human  race  that  can  well  be  imagined,  surpassing 
in  symmetry  and  grace  those  of  all  the  other  groups  we  had  visited. 
The  fashion  of  their  warlike  dress  is  changed  for  every  battle,  in  order 
to  act  as  a  disguise,  and  prevent  them  from  being  known  to  the  enemy, 
but  yet  they  are  readily  distinguished  by  their  own  party. 

Anxious  to  know  the  actual  cause  of  the  war,  I  made  every  inquiry 
that  was  in  my  power,  and  satisfied  myself  that  it  was  in  a  great 
measure  a  religious  contest,  growing  out  of  the  zeal  the  missionaries 
have  to  propagate  the  gospel,  and  convert  the  heathen.  With  this  is 
combined  the  desire  of  King  George,  or  Taufaahau,  who  is  already 
master  of  Hapai  and  Vavao,  to  possess  himself  of  all  the  islands  of  the 
group.  About  three  years  prior  to  our  visit,  a  war  had  broken  out  in 
Tonga  of  a  similar  character,  and  the  Christian  party  being  hard 
pressed,  sent  to  ask  the  aid  of  King  George,  who  came,  relieved  them, 
and  defeated  their  enemies.    Mr.  Rabone,  the  missionary  above  spoken 


of,  was  residing  at  Hihifo,  a  town  or  fortress  on  the  west  end  of  the 
island,  where  he  converted  a  few  of  the  natives,  who  were  required  to 
remove  from  the  district  by  the  ata,  which  is  the  title  the  governor 
of  the  district  bears.  They  refused,  as  they  asserted  their  lands 
were  all  there,  and  they  wished  to  remain.  About  the  same  time, 
Mr.  Rabone  thought  proper  to  shoot  one  of  their  sacred  pigeons,  which 
incensed  the  people  against  him;  for  if  a  native  had  committed  the 
same  act,  he  would  have  been  clubbed,  and  as  he  himself  confessed  he 
knew  their  superstitious  feeling  for  this  bird.  Mr.  Rabone,  in  conse- 
quence of  this  occurrence,  was  obliged  to  remove  to  Nukualofa.  The 
heathen  also  complained  that  their  temples  were  desecrated,  their 
customs  broken  in  upon,  and  their  pleasures  destroyed  by  the  Christian 
party,  who  endeavoured  to  interdict  their  comforts,  and  force  laws 
upon  them  in  the  shape  of  taboos  through  their  king ;  that  they  even 
prohibited  the  smoking  of  tobacco,  an  innocent  pleasure,  which  the 
natives  have  long  been  accustomed  to,  and  take  great  delight  in,  but 
which  is  now  forbidden  by  royal  ordinance  to  the  Christian  party,  and 
any  infraction  of  the  law  severely  punished.  The  heathen  now  said 
that  they  could  no  longer  endure  these  acts,  and  were  determined  to 
resist  them  by  retaliation,  and  prevent  the  further  propagation  of  the 
Christian  religion. 

The  natives  who  had  renounced  heathenism,  and  joined  the  Christian 
party,  finding  they  were  not  permitted  to  remain  at  Hihifo,  retired  to  a 
short  distance  from  it,  and  built  themselves  a  small  fortress,  which  the 
ata  finally  blockaded.  The  Christian  party  now  sent  for  aid  to 
Nukualofa,  and  having  enlisted  the  feelings  of  the  missionaries  and 
their  adherents  in  the  cause,  they  sent  a  message  for  King  George, 
who  again  came  with  a  large  force  from  Hapai  and  Vavao  to  their 
assistance.  On  his  arrival,  a  long  conference  ensued,  in  which  the  ata 
expressed  himself  desirous  of  treating  for  peace,  and  proposed  that  a 
conference  should  take  place  in  his  fort. 

To  this  King  George  assented,  and  proceeded  to  the  small  Christian 
fortress  in  the  vicinity  of  Hihifo,  where  it  is  said  he  was  met  by  a 
deserter  from  Hihifo,  who  told  him  that  the  only  purpose  of  inviting 
him  to  a  conference  there  was  to  assassinate  him  and  his  chiefs.  This 
story  was  said  to  have  been  confirmed  from  other  sources,  but  this 
additional  evidence  seemed  far  from  being  satisfactory.  King  George 
immediately  resolved  to  invest  and  storm  the  fortress  of  Hihifo ;  and, 
for  the  purpose  of  diminishing  the  enemy's  strength,  had  recourse  to  a 
singular  stratagem.  He  directed  all  of  his  men  who  had  any  friends 
or  acquaintances  in  Hihifo,  and  of  these  there  were  many,  to  advance 
towards    the   walls,   and  each  one  to  call  to  his  relation,  friend,  or 


acquaintance,  within,  and  assure  him  of  safety  if  he  would  desert ! 
This  had  the  desired  effect,  and  a  great  many  persons,  forming  a  large 
part  of  the  garrison,  jumped  over  the  wall,  and  joined  the  besiegers. 
The  remainder,  being  weakened  and  disheartened,  surrendered.  Thus 
the  difficulty  ended  for  the  present,  the  rest  of  the  heathen  not  having 
yet  joined  in  the  affair,  although  it  was  said  they  were  fully  prepared 
for  hostilities.  King  George  now  re-embarked,  to  return  home  with 
his  warriors,  sailing  for  Honga  Tonga  and  Honga  Hapai,  which  is 
the  route  taken  in  their  voyages  when  going  back  to  Vavao. 

The  following  account  of  the  resolution  he  took  there  was  derived 
from  King  George,  through  Mr.  Tucker,  and  clearly  proved  to  my 
mind  that  his  object  now  was  to  enlarge  his  dominions,  by  adding  to 
them  the  island  of  Tonga.  "  Here  he  reflected  upon  the  subject  of  his 
departure,  and  the  defenceless  state  of  King  Josiah  or  Tubou ;  and  he 
was  so  forcibly  struck  with  his  danger,  and  that  of  the  missionaries, 
that  he  resolved  to  return,  and  remain  at  Nukualofa  until  the  heathen 
were  finally  subdued."  We,  in  consequence,  found  him  estabUshed, 
building  and  fortifying  a  town,  and  his  forces  daily  arriving  from 
Vavao  and  Hapai.  Indeed  his  whole  conduct  did  not  leave  us  any 
room  to  doubt  what  his  intentions  were,  and  that  the  missionaries  and 
he  were  mutually  serving  each  other's  cause.  I  mentioned  my  suspi- 
cions, relative  to  King  George's  ambition,  to  the  missionaries,  and  how 
likely  it  would  be  to  prevent  any  reconciliation  or  peace  with  the 
heathen,  and  was  much  surprised  and  struck  with  the  indifference  with 
which  Mr.  Rabone  spoke  of  the  war.  He  was  evidently  more  inclined 
to  have  it  continue  than  desirous  that  it  should  be  put  a  stop  to ;  viewing 
it,  in  fact,  as  a  means  of  propagating  the  gospel.  I  regretted  to  hear 
such  sentiments,  and  had  little  hope,  after  becoming  aware  of  them,  of 
being  instrumental  in  bringing  about  a  peace,  when  such  unchristian 
views  existed  where  it  was  least  to  be  expected. 

On  consultation,  Eliza  Anne  Tubou  was  selected  as  the  most  proper 
messenger  of  peace  that  could  be  sent,  and  the  only  one  indeed  who 
could  go  with  safety.  She  is  the  daughter  of  Faatu,  the  heathen  chief 
of  Moa,  one  of  the  largest  heathen  fortresses  ;  is  married  to  a  chief  of 
the  Christian  party.  She  is  a  fine  intelligent-looking  woman,  with  good 
sense  and  much  good  feeling,  and  entered  warmly  into  the  arrange- 
ments. She  was  despatched  with  a  written  proposal  for  the  conference, 
and  was  to  return  the  next  day.  She  is  called  the  sacred  daughter, 
and  goes  where  she  likes  without  being  molested. 

After  the  council  was  over,  I  went  with  Mr.  Tucker  to  the  mission- 
ary houses,  passing  through  the  town  (if  so  it  may  be  called),  com- 
posed entirely  of  reed  huts,  of  small  dimensions,  and  enclosed  with 

'JOIN  GAT  A  BOO.  13 

wicker-work  fences.  The  missionary  houses  are  on  the  out  skirts ; 
the  whole  contains  about  six  hundred  houses ;  and  on  looking  into  a 
few,  they  did  not  appear  to  be  very  cleanly.  The  houses  are  built 
after  the  fashion  of  the  Samoans,  only  the  sides  are  of  wicker-work, 
made  of  the  slender  sugar-cane.  The  dwellings  of  the  missionaries 
are  very  like  those  of  the  better  sort,  and  are  within  an  enclosure ; 
and  the  only  difference  I  observed  was,  that  they  had  glazed  windows. 
Like  the  others,  they  had  no  floors,  and  the  earth  was  covered  with 

Mrs.  Tucker,  whom  we  found  exceedingly  intelligent,  gave  us  a  kind 
welcome.  She  has  for  some  time  been  the  principal  instructress  of 
both  old  and  young  :  I  can  myself  vouch  for  the  unexpected  proficiency 
of  some  of  her  scholars  in  speaking  English.  To  her  and  her  husband 
I  feel  much  indebted  for  their  answers  to  the  many  inquiries  respecting 
the  state  of  things  in  the  island,  —  the  employments  and  character  of 
the  natives,  their  wars,  manners,  and  customs.  They  appeared  inde- 
fatigable in  their  exertions  for  what  they  considered  the  good  of  the 
natives ;  among  other  things,  they  have  endeavoured  to  introduce  a 
variety  of  vegetables  and  fruits :  cabbages,  turnips,  and  mustard  were 
seen ;  among  the  fruits,  were  pine-apples  and  custard-apples,  which 
thrive  well ;  oranges  have  been  introduced,  but  do  not  succeed,  be- 
cause they  are  injured  by  an  insect,  which  leaves  its  larvse  on  the  fruit, 
and  causes  it  to  fall  before  it  reaches  maturity.  They  are  obliged  to 
pull  all  their  fruits  before  they  are  ripe,  in  consequence  of  their  liability 
to  destruction  by  the  ants,  if  left  to  ripen  on  the  tree. 

King  George,  or  Taufaahau,  is  building  his  town  near  by,  just 
without  the  fortification  of  King  Josiah :  it  is  an  enclosure  of  four 
hundred  yards  square ;  the  fence  consists  of  close  wicker-work,  made 
of  the  small  sugar-cane,  and  in  order  to  make  it  stronger,  several 
thicknesses  are  put  together :  this  makes  a  more  effective  defence  than 
one  would  imagine ;  it  is  about  eight  feet  high,  and  trimmed  oflf  on  the 


top,  and  when  new  has  a  very  pretty  appearance.  The  permanency 
and  arrangement  with  which  the  town  is  laid  out,  make  Taufaahau's 
intentions  quite  evident.  The  avenues  cross  the  square  diagonally, 
the  gates  being  at  the  corners,  and  in  the  centre  is  a  large  area,  left 
for  a  chapel. 



The  houses  of  King  Josiah's  or  Tubou's  town  are  mostly  within  the 
fortress  ;  this  is  a  high  mud  wall  or  embankment,  on  the  top  of  which 
is  a  wicker-work  fence ;  on  the  outside  of  the  wall  is  a  ditch,  twelve 
feet  wide  by  five  feet  deep.  There  are  three  principal  gateways, 
which  are  very  narrow  entrances,  formed  by  thick  cocoa-nut  posts, 
set  firmly  and  closely  in  the  ground,  admitting  only  two  persons  at  a 
time ;  these  entrances  are  about  fifteen  feet  long,  and  in  order  to  se- 
cure them  against  an  attack,  they  are  so  arranged  as  to  be  filled  up 
with  earth ;  they  have  likewise  a  number  of  hollow  logs  buried  in  the 
wall,  and  set  obliquely,  serving  as  loop-holes,  through  which  they  may 
have  a  cross-fire  at  their  enemies  as  they  approach.  These  loop-holes 
can  only  be  used  for  muskets,  and  have  been  introduced  since  the 
natives  began  to  use  fire-arms,  or  since  the  time  of  Mariner,  for  he 
makes  no  mention  of  them  in  describing  the  fortresses. 

King  George's  house  is  near  by :  it  was  originally  built  at  Hihifo, 
for  a  chapel ;  the  chief  of  that  place  gave  it  to  Taufaahau,  and  it  was 
divided  into  three  parts,  and  brought  to  Nukualofa  in  canoes.     On  my 




visit  the  kin^  was  not  at  home,  but  Mr.  Tucker  asked  me  to  walk  in. 
The  building  is  not  a  large  one ;  it  is  divided  into  three  apartments 
by  tapa  screens,  and  was  partly  furnished.  I  observed  many  de- 
canters and  tumblers  on  a  shelf,  the  former  well-filled  to  appearance 
with  spirits  and  gin ;  but  I  had  no  opportunity  of  knowing  actually 
what  the  contents  were.  Many  of  the  queen's  waiting-maids  were 
present,  arranging  the  house  previous  to  her  arrival ;  she  was  hourly 
expected  from  Hapai,  and  is  reported  to  be  the  most  beautiful  woman 
in  the  group.  The  new  town  is  rapidly  progressing ;  great  regularity 
exists,  and  every  thing  is  so  arranged  that  each  company  of  warriors 
with  their  families  are  assigned  a  particular  quarter  in  which  to  build ; 
they  have  come  prepared,  too,  for  the  purpose,  having  brought  many 
parts  of  their  houses  with  them.  These  houses  have  a  temporary 
appearance,  although  they  are  very  comfortable ;  and  the  rapidity 
with  which  they  build  them  is  astonishing :  the  enclosure,  and  about 
fifty  houses,  were  built  in  three  days;  twelve  men  can  complete  a 
house  in  a  little  more  than  a  day.  The  average  size  of  the  houses  is 
fifteen  by  twenty  feet,  and  about  fifteen  feet  high  under  the  ridge-pole ; 
they  are  of  circular  or  elliptical  form.  The  furniture  of  the  natives 
consists  of  their  implements  of  war,  ava-bowl,  a  chest  or  box  for  their 
valuables,  and  a  set  of  mats,  some  of  which  are  made  for  the  floors, 
and  others  for  screens ;  the  latter  are  about  two  feet  in  width,  and  are 
seen  partly  surrounding  them  when  sitting,  standing  on  their  edges, 
which  are  supported  by  scrolls  at  each  end ;  they  are  quite  pretty, 
some  of  them  beinsc  much  ornamented. 



They  have  great  quantities  of  tapa  cloth,  in  a  thin  sort  of  which 
they  use  to  roll  themselves  at  night,  as  a  security  against  the  musqui- 
toes,  with  which  their  island  abounds.  The  new  town  is  beautifully 
situated  in  a  bread-fruit  and  cocoa-nut  grove,  which  gives  it  perpetual 
shade,  whilst  it  is  sufficiently  open  to  admit  the  cool  breeze. 

On  the  26th,  agreeably  to  my  engagement,  I  moved  the  ship  to  the 
island  of  Pangai-Moutu,  in  order  to  be  near  the  place  of  meeting  of  the 
conference  between  the  two  belligerent  parties,  and  to  protect  both 
from  the  treachery  they  seemed  mutually  to  fear.  Pangai-Moutu  is 
about  three  and  a  half  miles  from  Nukualofa,  and  is  now  considered  as 
neutral  ground ;  the  anchorage  is  a  good  and  safe  one.  Our  messen- 
ger, Anne  Eliza  Tubou,  returned,  and  gave  me  assurances  that  the 
heathen  were  willing  to  meet  in  conference ;  that  they  desired  peace, 
and  to  be  left  in  the  quiet  enjoyment  of  their  land  and  their  gods,  and 
did  not  wish  to  interfere  or  have  any  thing  to  do  with  the  new  religion. 
They  again  asked  me,  if  they  came,  would  I  protect  them  fully  1  In 
reply  to  this,  I  sent  the  strongest  assurances  of  protection  to  them. 
My  hopes,  however,  of  producing  a  peace  and  reconciliation  among 
them,  began  to  decline ;  for  it  was  evident  that  King  George  and  his 
advisers,  and,  indeed,  the  whole  Christian  party,  seemed  to  be  desirous 
of  continuing  the  war,  either  to  force  the  heathen  to  become  Chris- 
tians, or  to  carry  it  on  to  extermination,  which  the  number  of  their 
warriors  made  them  believe  they  had  the  power  to  effect.  I  felt,  in 
addition,  that  the  missionaries  were  thwarting  my  exertions  by  per- 
mitting warlike  preparations  during  the  pending  of  the  negotiations. 

On  the  28th,  our  boat  returned  from  Moa,  bringing  an  old  blind 
chief,  called  Mufa.  The  wife  of  Faatu  came  in  place  of  her  husband, 
accompanied  by  four  or  five  lesser  chiefs,  who  had  been  deputed  to 
attend  the  council.  The  wife  of  Faatu  is  a  large  fat  woman.  He 
himself  was  wilhng  to  attend,  but  his  chiefs  and  people  interfered  and 
prevented  him,  as  he  was  coming  to  the  boat,  fearing  lest  he  should  be 
detained  as  a  hostage  ;  and  they  made  such  an  outcry  (according  to 
the  officer)  against  it,  that  he  was  obliged  to  yield. 

Mufa  is  the  grandfather  of  Taufaahau,  and  was  supposed  would 
have  some  influence  with  him.  From  every  thing  we  saw,  we  became 
satisfied  that  the  heathen  were  desirous  of  making  peace,  at  least  the 
people  of  Moa.  I  gave  orders  to  provide  them  with  every  thing  for 
their  comfort,  giving  them  full  assurance  of  my  protection,  and  their 
safe  return  ;  and  finding  them  ill  at  ease  on  board  ship,  I  ordered  a 
tent  to  be  pitched  on  shore  for  their  accommodation,  and  had  them 
supplied  with  rice  and  molasses,  as  well  as  the  food  they  are  in  the 
habit  of  eating,  consisting  of  yams,  taro,  &c. 


Deeming  it  advisable  that  Faatu  should  be  present  himself,  I  again 
sent  a  boat  for  him.  The  people  of  Moa,  though  heathens,  have  not 
taken  an  active  part  in  the  late  disturbances,  which  are  for  the  most 
part  confined  to  Bea  and  Houma ;  and  although  the  Moans  are  more 
strongly  allied  to  the  latter,  they  have  always  kept  up  an  intercourse 
with  Nukualofa. 

One  can  readily  enter  into  the  feelings  of  the  heathen,  who  are 
inhabitants  of  the  sacred  Tonga,  and  have  always  been  looked  up  to 
by  the  inhabitants  of  the  rest  of  the  group,  who  were  obliged  to  carry 
thither  offerings,  &c.,  to  the  gods,  as  superior  to  themselves,  when  they 
see  an  attempt  made  to  subjugate  them,  by  those  whom  they  have 
always  looked  upon  with  contempt,  and  to  force  upon  them  a  new 
religion,  and  a  change  in  every  thing  they  have  hitherto  looked  upon 
as  sacred.  Such  feelings  are  enough  to  make  them  war  against  any 
innovation  in  their  social  polity  and  laws ;  and  after  having  been 
acknowledged  from  time  immemorial  as  pre-eminent  throughout  the 
whole  group,  including  Wallis,  Hoorn,  Traitor's  and  Keppel's  Islands, 
it  is  not  surprising  that  they  should  be  found  the  active  enemies  of 
religious  encroachments.  Their  vexation  is  augmented  by  the  disap- 
pointment they  experienced  in  the  last  election  of  the  King  of  Tonga 
(Tui  Kanakabolo) ;  Tubou,  although  the  brother  of  his  predecessor, 
was  chosen  by  them  in  preference  to  Mumui,  the  son,  because  they 
believed  him  to  be  favourable  to  their  side,  and  opposed  to  the  Chris- 
tian  party;  Mumui,  on  the  other  hand,  was  brought  up  by  the 
missionaries,  speaks  English  tolerably  well,  and  is  the  missionaries' 
principal  school-teacher.  Mr.  Tucker  informed  me  that  Mumui  is  now 
considered  as  the  son  of  Tubou,  and  will  be  entitled  to  the  succession, 
for  which  both  Faatu  and  Taufaahau,  are  likewise  candidates,  on  the 
death  of  Tubou. 

The  singular  custom  is  said  to  prevail  in  Tonga,  that  none  of  the 
royal  family  ever  receive  a  title  of  ofHce ;  for  by  so  doing,  I  was  told, 
they  would  virtually  renounce  their  right  to  the  kingdom.  The  Tui 
Kanakabolo  has  the  power  of  rescinding  titles.  In  one  view,  the 
government  may  be  considered  a  kind  of  family  compact,  for  the 
persons  holding  titles  and  offices,  address  one  another  by  the  names  of 
father,  son,  uncle,  and  grandfather,  without  reference  whatever  to  their 
real  degree  of  relationship. 

The  titles  generally  consist  of  the  name  of  the  district  over  which 
the  chief  rules,  and  of  which  they  receive  the  revenues,  with  "  Tui,"  a 
word  synonymous  with  lord,  before  it.  This,  however,  is  not  always 
the  case,  for  there  are  others  who  have  distinct  titles,  as  Lavaka,  the 
King  of  Bea,  one  of  the  bitterest  opponents  of  the  Christians,  and  who 

VOL.  III.  B3  3 



is  determined  to  die  rather  than  submit  to  them ;  and  Ata,  Takafauna, 
and  Vaea,  the  great  chief  of  Houma.  The  latter  was  deposed  a  short 
time  since,  yet  still  retains  his  title  among  the  heathen. 

Shadrach,  or  Mumui,  as  he  is  also  called,  is  a  good  sample  of  the 
Tongese.  I  saw  him  at  Mr.  Tucker's,  where  he  was  introduced  to 
me;  and  I  must  confess  myself  not  a  Uttle  surprised  to  hear  him 
address  me  in  tolerably  good  English,  asking  me  the  news,  and  what 
occurrences  had  taken  place  in  Europe.  It  appeared  ridiculous  to  be 
questioned  by  a  half-naked  savage  upon  such  subjects ;  but  I  must  do 
him  the  justice  to  say  he  seemed  quite  familiar  with  some  of  the  events 
that  have  taken  place  during  the  last  fifteen  or  twenty  years.  He  is 
one  of  the  missionaries'  most  zealous  converts,  and  I  believe  to  Mrs. 
Tucker  is  due  the  credit  of  teaching  him ;  he  has,  I  understood,  sole 
charge  of  their  large  school  of  three  hundred  scholars,  and  it,  in  order 
and  regularity,  equals,  if  it  does  not  exceed,  any  in  our  own  country. 
Mrs.  Tucker  thinks  this  is  partly  to  be  ascribed  to  his  being  a  high 
chief,  whom  they  are  brought  up  to  have  a  great  respect  for.  Mumui's 
countenance  shows  much  intelligence,  but  his  figure  is  rather  out  of 
proportion:  his  age  is  under  thirty. 

On  the  27th,  I  visited  Nukualofa,  on  business  respecting  the  English 
schooner  Currency  Lass,  Captain  Wilson,  which  vessel  was  found 
here.  The  master  reported  that  two  of  his  men  had  been  seized  by 
King  George,  and  imprisoned,  until  a  ransom  was  paid,  and  the  four 
Feejee  women  he  had  on  board  were  deUvered  up.  On  inquiry,  it 
proved  that  two  of  the  crew  of  the  Currency  Lass,  with  the  knowledge 
of  the  commander  and  owner,  (who  was  present,)  had  taken  the  Feejee 
women  on  board  at  Vavao,  knowing  it  to  be  against  the  laws  of  that 
island;  they  thence  sailed  for  Tonga.  On  their  leaving  Vavao,  a 
canoe  was  immediately  despatched  to  Tonga,  to  inform  King  George 
of  the  occurrence,  and  it  arrived  before  the  vessel.  King  George,  on 
her  arrival,  immediately  sent  on  board  for  the  purpose  of  a  search; 
but  the  women  were  concealed  below,  and  they  were  believed  not  to 
be  on  board.  It  however  became  known,  in  some  way,  that  they  were 
there,  and  when  four  of  the  vessel's  crew  were  sent  on  shore  to  mend  the 
casks  to  receive  oil.  King  George  seized  them,  and  tied  them  to  trees. 
He  then  sent  word,  that  the  women  must  be  given  up,  and  that  the 
owner  must  pay  a  ransom  of  muskets  for  the  men.  I  found  no  difficulty 
in  arranging  the  business.  King  George  was  very  frank  and  straight- 
forward about  it,  and  told  the  facts  very  much  as  they  are  above 
related.  On  my  pointing  out  to  him  that  he  had  taken  the  wrong 
course,  and  was  punishing  the  innocent  men  of  the  crew,  he  said  he  had 
no  means  of  telling  who  were  the  guilty,  but  that  if  he  had  done  any 


thing  wrong  he  was  willing  to  make  amends.  I  thought  that  the 
conduct  of  the  Currency  Lass  had  been  improper,  and  the  decision 
being  left  to  me,  I  determined  that  the  men  should  be  set  at  liberty,  the 
women  given  up,  and  the  muskets  paid;  that  King  George  should 
return  the  water-casks,  and  pay  for  those  that  had  been  injured.  I 
took  occasion,  however,  to  impress  upon  King  George  the  necessity 
of  not  being  so  precipitate  in  punishing  the  innocent  for  the  guilty. 
The  men  of  the  Currency  Lass  who  had  received  bad  treatment  at  his 
hands,  received  a  recompense,  and  so  the  affair  was  ended. 

On  the  morning  of  the  29th,  it  was  reported  to  me  that  Mufa,  the 
old  blind  chief,  and  his  companion,  had  decamped,  without  giving  any 
notice  of  their  intention,  and  after  eating  their  fill  of  the  good  things 
set  before  them,  besides  carrying  off  the  remains  of  their  feast.  This 
movement,  I  afterwards  learnt,  was  owing  to  their  having  received 
intelligence  of  the  people  of  Bea  having  made  another  attack  upon  the 
yam-grounds  of  the  Christians,  and  carried  off  a  large  quantity ;  and 
they  were  fearful  lest  some  retaliatory  measures  should  be  taken  to 
intercept  them. 

This  day  the  kings  visited  me,  with  a  number  of  their  chiefs  and 
people  in  a  large  canoe,  and  made  a  fine  appearance  on  approaching 
the  ship ;  it  was  the  largest  we  saw  during  the  voyage :  it  was  one 
hundred  feet  in  length,  and  of  the  double  kind,  which  consists  of  two 
canoes  of  different  size  joined  together  by  a  deck  thrown  across  them 
both ;  on  this  deck  a  small  house  is  constructed,  which  serves  for  a 
cabin  to  keep  off  the  weather ;  above  the  house  was  a  small  platform, 
eight  feet  square,  with  a  railing  on  each  side ;  the  mast,  which  is  about 
thirty  feet  long,  is  supported  by  guys,  having  a  long  yard  attached  to 
it,  with  its  mat-sail  of  huge  dimensions  furled. 

In  all  canoes,  both  double  and  single,  small  hatchways  are  left  at 
both  ends,  with  high  combings,  and  when  under  way,  a  man  is  always 
seen  in  each  baling  out  the  water.  Their  mode  of  propelling  the  canoe 
by  sculling  is  peculiar  to  the  Tongese  and  Feejees;  the  sculler,  instead 
of  using  the  oar  as  we  do,  stands  behind  it,  and  holds  it  perpendicularly. 
The  oar  has  a  broad  blade,  and  is  ten  feet  in  length :  the  sculler  thus 
has  the  whole  weight  of  his  body  to  assist  his  strength  in  using  it :  it  is 
confined  in  a  hole  in  the  platform.  There  is  generally  one  of  these 
oars  at  each  end,  and  they  are  enabled  to  propel  one  of  these  large 
canoes  between  two  and  three  miles  an  hour  by  means  of  them. 

The  Tongese  are  great  adepts  in  managing  their  canoes  when 
under  sail ;  and  they  sail  much  more  swiftly  on  a  wind  than  before  it. 
As  this  canoe  is  of  Feejee  origin,  I  shall  defer  describing  it  until  a 
succeeding  chapter. 



The  canoe  of  these  chiefs  was  seen  advancing  slowly  over  the  calm 
sea  by  the  efforts  of  its  scullers,  and  was  filled  with  men,  all  singing 
the  following  air,  keeping  perfect  time  and  making  excellent  music  ; 
the  notes  were  obtained  by  Mr.  Drayton. 

9—9—   Sjg      I     I     r        ly  «y  16^ 


"I    rz\~ 


To  this  they  sing  any  words,  but  generally  such  as  are  applicable 
to  the  mission  of  business  or  pleasure  they  may  be  on ;  and  although 
the  air  and  bass  are  heard  most  distinctly,  the  four  parts  are  all  sung 
in  the  most  perfect  harmony.  From  the  fact  that  the  tenors  and 
basses  sing  parts  of  a  bar,  alternating  with  each  other,  and  come  in 
perfectly,  it  would  seem  that  they  cultivate  music  in  their  own  rude 
way,  producing  a  wild  but  agreeable  effect.  To  this  the  scullers  keep 

This  music  has  a  great  resemblance  to  that  of  the  Samoan  Group, 
and  it  is  the  custom  in  both  to  sing  it  while  at  work.  It  may  there- 
fore be  inferred  that  it  is  native,  for  the  Tongese  never  had  foreign 
music  of  any  kind  taught  them.  The  missionaries  themselves  do  not 
sing,  and  declared  they  were  not  able  to  tell  Old  Hundred  from  God 
save  the  King,  if  the  same  words  were  adapted  to  both  !  The  females 
of  this  island,  generally,  have  very  musical  voices,  whose  pitch  is  the 
same  as  that  of  European  women ;  the  voices  of  the  men  are  a  full 
octave  below,  round  and  full;  all  are  very  apt  in  learning  a  tune. 
Mr.  Drayton  remarks  that  he  did  not  hear  a  single  strain  in  the  minor 
mood  in  singing,  nor  even  in  their  natural  sounds  in  speaking.  Music 
might  be  cultivated  among  this  people  with  great  success,  from  the 
evident  delight  they  take  in  musical  sounds,  and  their  strong  desire  to 
learn ;  but  they  could  with  difficulty  be  prevailed  upon  to  sing,  for  the 
state  of  the  country  and  the  fear  of  the  missionaries,  or  the  order  of 
the  king,  prevented  it. 

Finding  me  engaged  on  the  island  of  Pangai-Moutu,  at  the  observa- 


tory,  the  natives  passed  to  the  shore.  I  received  them  in  my  tent,  and 
the  first  words  spolien  were  to  inform  me  that  they  had  come  to  the 
conference ;  and  they  asked  where  their  adversaries  were  1  Being 
well  aware  that  they  had  avoided  coming  the  day  before,  and  had 
gone  out  to  make  battle,  instead  of  coming  as  appointed  to  the  meet- 
ing, and  that  they  knew  the  chiefs  of  Moa  had  returned,  I  took  care  to 
let  them  know  that  I  was  not  to  be  imposed  upon  by  such  a  trick. 
When  they  saw  they  could  not  deceive  me,  they  seemed  disposed  to 
laugh  it  off;  but  finding  that  their  chiefs  and  warriors  (upwards  of  one 
hundred)  were  all  armed,  I  took  care  to  retort  upon  them  for  their 
want  of  confidence,  and  to  tell  them  how  unlike  it  was  to  their  pro- 
fession of  Christianity,  and  that  they  must  show  a  proper  disposition, 
before  the  white  people  would  give  them  any  credit  for  being  Chris- 
tians. I  then  took  the  two  kings  with  me  on  board  the  ship,  leaving 
their  canoe  to  follow.  Shortly  after  we  had  embarked.  King  George's 
followers,  finding  a  canoe  on  the  beach  owned  by  three  natives  of 
Rotuma,  who  reside  at  Moa,  stole  the  paddles  out  of  it,  turned  it  over, 
and  set  it  adrift.  On  making  it  known  to  King  George,  however,  he 
promised  recompense,  but  would  not  punish  or  seek  to  find  out  the 
perpetrators  of  the  deed.  I  felt  provoked  that  the  king  should  not 
have  had  more  control  over  them.  He  in  truth  seems  to  exercise  very 
little  power  over  his  people.  The  kings  were  shown  over  the  ship, 
and  several  guns  were  fired,  which  they  pretended  to  wonder  at  very 

They  remained  on  board  upwards  of  an  hour,  and  took  lunch  with 
me.  I  was  much  amused  with  their  conduct;  they  ate  heartily  of 
every  thing  on  the  table,  and  finally  crammed  themselves  with 
almonds  and  raisins,  with  a  most  unkingly  appetite.  They  then 
requested  leave  to  take  some  to  their  wives,  which  they  tied  up  in  the 
corner  of  their  tapas.  Before  they  left  the  ship,  I  presented  King 
George  (in  the  name  of  the  government)  with  a  handsome  fowling- 
piece,  and  King  Josiah  with  a  red  silk  umbrella,  which  highly  de- 
lighted him.  Their  majesties  were  both  naked,  except  the  tapa  wound 
around  their  waists ;  and  it  was  a  curious  sight  to  see  them  endea- 
vouring to  imitate  us  in  the  use  of  knives  and  forks.  They  left  the 
ship  highly  delighted  with  their  presents  and  visit,  embarked  in  their 
canoe,  and  proceeded  to  Nukualofa,  all  joining  again  in  the  same 
chorus.  The  canoe  was  nearly  level  with  the  water,  and  appeared 
like  a  floating  mass  of  human  beings. 

Thus  ended  my  hopes  of  effecting  the  desired  reconciliation  between 
the  two  parties.  The  heathen  are  represented  by  the  Christian  party 
and  missionaries,  as  a  set  of  cruel  savages,  great  liars,  treacherous, 

22  T  O  N  G  A  T  A  B  O  O, 

and  evil-disposed;  and  this  character  seems  to  be  given  to  them  only  be- 
cause they  will  not  listen  to  the  preaching;  and  it  is  alleged  they  must 
therefore  be  treated  with  severity,  and  compelled  to  yield.  Under 
these  feelings  it  was  in  vain  to  expect  to  produce  a  reconciliation;  and, 
had  I  been  aware  of  them,  1  should  not  have  attempted  the  task.  I 
must  here  record,  that  in  all  that  met  our  observations,  the  impression 
was,  that  the  heathen  were  well-disposed  and  kind,  and  were  desirous 
of  putting  an  end  to  the  difficulties. 

Several  of  the  officers  visited  Moa.  In  order  to  reach  it,  it  is 
necessary  to  pass  in  boats  through  a  large  shallow  lagoon,  and  it  must 
be  crossed  nearly  at  high  water,  or  the  channel  will  be  found  very 
tortuous.  The  town  or  village  is  situated  a  little  above  the  general 
level;  it  is  surrounded  by  a  ditch,  which  has  little  depth,  as  the  coral 
rock  is  soon  reached,  and  is  not  cut  into.  The  intrenchment  is  com- 
posed of  earth  and  logs,  over  which  is  a  wicker  fence,  like  that  at 
Nukualofa ;  at  the  gates  the  ditch  is  interrupted,  so  as  to  form 
entrances,  which  are  narrow  and  low.  On  the  inside  a  guard-house 
with  a  sentinel  was  found ;  within  the  intrenchment  was  a  high  and 
well-built  fence,  and  inside  again  were  separate  enclosures.  They 
were  led  to  the  house  of  Faatu,  the  principal  chief,  who  treated  them 
with  civility  and  kindness ;  they  found  him  to  possess  both  dignity  and 
politeness.  In  his  house  were  several  Tonga  drums,  which  were  offered 
as  seats.  The  natives  were  in  great  numbers,  of  all  ages  and  sexes. 
A  brisk  trade  was  carried  on  for  the  supplies  we  needed  ;  and  although 
Faatu  took  no  active  part,  yet  the  whole  was  evidently  under  his 

The  missionaries  were  kind  enough  to  give  me  the  following  outline 
of  the  belief  of  the  heathen  belonging  to  this  group  of  islands.  They 
worship  many  gods,  who  are  believed  to  possess  unlimited  power  over 
them,  and  are  called  the  gods  of  Bulotu  or  Atua  faka  Bulotu,  whom 
they  believe  immortal ;  some  of  these  gods  are  of  this  world,  and  are 
called  Atua. 

They  believe  that  all  evil  is  inflicted  by  certain  gods,  called  Atua 
Banuu;  that  the  spirits  of  all  chiefs  go  to  Bulotu;  but  that  those  of 
poor  people  remain  in  this  world,  to  feed  upon  ants  and  lizards ;  that 
the  island  of  Bulotu  is  not  distant,  although  they  do  not  attempt  to  fix 
its  locality ;  that  both  gods  and  goddesses  have  visited  Tonga  within 
thirty  years  past,  when  they  drank  ava  in  their  temples,  and  were 
married  to  Tonga  chiefs ;  that  the  higher  gods  or  those  of  Bulotu  do 
not  consider  lying,  theft,  adultery,  murder,  &c.,  as  crimes,  but  as 
things  of  this  world,  which  are  left  for  the  inferior  gods  to  deal  with, 
and  do  not  concern  their  more  elevated   natures.     The  onlv  crime 


against  the  higher  gods  is  sacrilege,  committed  towards  their  temples, 
or  an  improper  use  of  the  offerings.  They  call  their  oldest  god 
Maui,  and  say  that  he  drew  the  world  or  islands  out  of  the  sea  with  a 
hook  and  line  :  the  first  he  drew  up  he  named  Ata,  which  is  referred 
to  Pylstart;  the  next  was  Tonga,  with  all  its  group  of  islands;  then 
Lofanga  and  the  other  Hapai  islands ;  and  last,  the  Vavao  Group. 
After  he  had  finished  his  work,  he  came  and  fixed  his  residence  at 
Tonga.  In  those  days  the  sky  was  so  near  the  earth  that  men  were 
obliged  to  crawl.  One  day  Maui  is  represented  as  having  met  an 
old  woman  with  water  in  a  cocoa-nut  shell,  of  whom  he  begged 
some  drink,  which  she  refused  until  he  promised  to  send  the  sky  up 
high,  which  he  did,  by  pushing  it  up,  and  there  it  has  remained  ever 
since.  To  Maui  is  ascribed  the  origin  of  that  most  useful  tree  called 
toa,  the  iron-wood  (Casuarina),  which  in  time  reached  the  sky,  and 
enabled  the  god  called  Etumatubua  to  descend.  Maui  had  two  sons, 
the  eldest  called  Maui  Atalonga,  and  the  younger  Kijikiji,  but  by 
whom  is  not  known.  Kijikiji  obtained  some  fire  from  the  earth,  and 
taught  them  to  cook  their  food,  which  they  found  was  good,  and  from 
that  day  food  has  been  cooked  which  before  was  eaten  raw.  In  order 
to  preserve  the  fire,  Kijikiji  commanded  it  to  go  into  certain  trees, 
whence  it  is  now  obtained  by  friction.  They  further  say,  that  during 
the  time  old  Maui  was  on  the  earth,  the  only  light  was  like  that  of  the 
moon,  and  that  neither  day  nor  night  existed ;  that  Maui  and  his  two 
sons  live  under  the  earth,  where  he  sleeps  most  of  his  time ;  that 
when  he  turns  himself  over,  he  produces  earthquakes,  which  they  call 
"  mofooeke."  Maui  is  not  now  worshipped  by  any  tribe,  nor  is  he 
loved  or  feared. 

Tangaloa,  their  second  god,  is  thought  to  be  nearly  as  old  as  Maui, 
and  equal  to  him  in  dignity.  He  resides  in  the  skies,  which  the 
Tongese  believe  to  be  very  numerous.  Hikuleo  is  the  god  of  spirits, 
and  is  the  third  in  order  of  time ;  he  dwells  in  a  cave  in  the  island. 
Bulotu  is  most  remarkable  for  a  long  tail,  which  prevents  him  from 
going  farther  from  the  cave  in  which  he  resides  than  its  length  will 
admit  of  In  this  cave  he  has  feasts,  and  lives  with  his  wives,  by 
whom  he  has  many  children  ;  he  has  absolute  power  over  all,  and  all 
are  forced  to  go  to  him  ;  he  is  a  being  without  love  or  goodness  ; 
to  him  the  spirits  of  the  chiefs  and  mataboles  go,  becoming  his 
servants,  and  are  forced  to  do  his  will,  and  to  serve  for  what  purpose 
he  pleases  ;  he  even  uses  them  to  make  fences  of,  or  as  bars  to  his 
gates ;  and  they  have  the  idea  that  his  house  and  all  things  in  it  are 
made  of  the  spirits  of  people,  where  they  continue  to  serve  without 
end.     They  never  pray  to  Bulotu,  except   when  some  sacrilege  has 



been  committed  to  the  offerings  they  make  him ;  and  on  this  occasion 
they  always  make  a  human  sacrifice.  They  also  invoke  him  when  the 
Tui  Tonga  is  sick ;  and  it  depends  on  the  reigning  Tui  Kanakabolo 
whether  or  not  a  human  sacrifice  is  offered.  None  but  gods  are  ever 
permitted  to  come  from  Bulotu.  This  god  has  his  spirit-temple  where 
all  their  valuable  presents  to  the  gods  are  deposited.  I  was  shown  by 
the  missionaries  some  large  whale's  teeth  that  were  prettily  carved, 
which  had  been  found  in  the  temple  lately  destroyed  by  the  Christian 

We  saw  here  three  natives  of  the  island  of  Rotuma,  who  had  been 
some  time  at  Tonga  :  one  of  them  was  said  to  be  a  chief  of  high  rank  ; 
another,  an  old  man,  a  chief  also,  and  a  kind  of  Mentor  to  the  former, 


who  spoke  a  little  English,  and  was  quite  blind,  having  become  so  since 
he  had  left  his  own  island.  The  old  man  seemed  to  feel  great  soUci- 
tude  about  his  charge,  and  expressed  a  wish  to  get  away  from  Tonga. 
The  reason  he  gave  me  for  this  desire  was,  '*  there  was  too  much  fight 
here ;  it  would  be  bad  for  the  young  chief,  who  was  to  be  a  king." 
He  told  me  also  there  had  been  no  war  on  his  island  for  many  years. 
It  is  generally  known  by  the  whalers  and  others,  that  at  Rotuma,  the 
people  are  the  most  peaceable  of  any  of  these  Polynesian  islanders 
and  the  whalers  have  been  in  the  habit  of  resorting  thither,  because 
they  experienced  little  difficulty,  and  are  in  no  danger  of  being  mo- 
lested by  the  natives.  He  mentioned  that  many  of  his  islanders  were 
now  abroad,  on  board  of  whale-ships,  where  they  earned  good  wages, 
and  afterwards  returned  to  the  island  with  some  properly  ;  he  said  that 



Rotuma  contained  very  many  people.  He  who  was  designated  as  the 
high  chief,  was  a  pleasing,  handsome  young  man,  and  appeared  mo- 
dest and  gentle  in  his  deportment.  Some  thought  he  resembled  in 
physiognomy  our  American  Indians,  but  I  did  not  myself  remark  it. 

The  natives  of  Tonga,  in  habits,  customs,  looks,  and  general  appear- 
ance, are  so  like  the  Samoans,  that  we  were  greatly  struck  with  the 
resemblance;  indeed,  in  writing  of  Samoa,  I  mentioned  that  many 
things  have  been  derived  from  Tonga,  particularly  their  tapa  covering 
from  the  waist  downwards,  called  siapo.  The  two  races  also  agree  in 
having  no  covering  for  the  head,  and  the  females  resemble  each  other. 
The  missionaries,  through  the  king's  ordinance,  have  caused  the  females 
to  clothe  themselves  up  to  the  neck  with  the  pareu ;  but  this  is  only 
conformed  to  before  the  missionaries,  for  we  as  frequently  saw  it  worn 
in  the  native  fashion. 


In  colour  the  Tongese  are  a  little  lighter  than  the  Samoans,  and  the 
young  children  are  almost  if  not  quite  white.  As  they  grow  up,  they 
are  left,  both  males  and  females,  to  run  about  in  a  state  of  nature,  with 
their  hair  cropped  close,  except  a  small  curly  lock  over  each  ear. 
This  is  a  practice  which  has  before  been  spoken  of,  as  prevalent  among 
the  Samoans.  Indeed,  the  similarity  between  the  appearance  of  the 
children  in  the  two  groups  is  such,  that  they  might  be  mistaken  for 
each  other.  A  larger  proportion  of  fine-looking  people  is  seldom  to  be 
seen,  in  any  portion  of  the  globe  ;  they  are  a  shade  lighter  than  any  of 
the  other  islanders ;  their  countenances  are  generally  of  the  European 
cast;  they  are  tall  and  well  made,  and  their  muscles  are  well  de- 
veloped. We  had  an  opportunity  of  contrasting  their  physical  cha- 
racters with  those  of  several  other  natives,  and  particularly  with  a 
native  of  Erromago.     The  features  of  the  latter  were  more  nearly  allied 

VOL.  III.  c  4 



to  those  of  the  negro  than  any  we  had  yet  seen.  His  hair  was  woolly, 
his  face  prominent,  and  his  lips  thick.  His  nose,  however,  was  not  re- 
markably broad ;  his  eyes  were  small,  deeply  sunk,  and  had  a  lively 


expression ;  his  countenance  was  pleasing  and  intelligent,  and  his 
cheeks  thin  ;  his  limbs  were  slender,  and  the  calf  of  his  leg  high.* 

We  also  found  some  of  the  Feejee  islanders  here :  the  intercourse 
between  Tonga  and  the  windward  islands  of  the  Feejee  Group,  is  fre- 
quent. This  intercourse  is  said  to  be  the  cause  of  the  warlike  habits 
which  the  Tongese  have  acquired.  The  people  of  Feejee  appear  to 
disadvantage  when  contrasted  with  those  of  Tonga;  for  the  latter  have 
much  larger  frames,  their  colour  is  several  shades  lighter,  and  their 
hair  straight  and  fine,  while  that  of  the  Feejee  is  frizzled. 

The  women  of  the  Tonga  Group  are  equally  remarkable  for  their 
personal  beauty. 

The  natives  of  Tonga,  from  the  missionaries'  accounts,  are  indus- 
trious and  ingenious ;  much  attachment  exists  between  husband  and 
wife,  and  they  are  very  fond  of  their  children.  We  were  surprised  at 
their  numbers,  which  give  a  striking  air  of  cheerfulness  and  gaiety  to 
the  scene,  when  they  are  seen  in  groups,  playing,  and  practising  many 
kinds  of  jugglery. 

As  far  as  we  observed,  the  Tongese  are  very  fond  of  amusements, 
and  smoking  tobacco  is  absolutely  a  passion  with  them  ;  this  is  raised 
by  themselves :  the  leaf  is  cut  up  very  fine,  and  then  rolled  within  a 
fine  pandanus-leaf,  forming  a  cigar.     The  Christian   party  are   not 

*  Among  other  peculiarities  of  this  native  of  Erromago,  it  was  stated  by  the  low  whites, 
that  instead  of  wrapping  liimself  up  in  tapa  at  night,  like  the  Tongese,  he  was  in  tiie  habit 
of  burying  liimself  in  the  sand  in  order  to  avoid  the  musquitoes. 


allowed  to  smoke,  although  they  use  large  quantities  of  ava,  made  of 
the  Piper  mythisticum,  which  has  more  intoxicating  and  deleterious 
effects  than  tobacco.  So  singular  an  interdiction  of  the  one,  with  the 
free  use  of  the  other,  induced  me  to  ask  Mr.  Tucker  the  reason  of  it, 
and  why,  if  they  had  only  the  power  to  prevent  the  use  of  one,  they 
did  not  prohibit  the  most  pernicious?  The  only  answer  I  got  was, 
that  it  would  be  a  pity  to  break  up  their  ava  circles.  I  believe  that 
few  rise  from  them  without  being  somewhat  stupified,  but  it  does  not 
amount  to  actual  intoxication.  The  manner  in  which  these  natives 
use  tobacco  is  one  of  the  most  pleasing  of  their  social  customs,  and 
shows  an  absence  of  all  selfishness ;  it  is  the  same  as  at  the  Samoan 
Group,  where  the  person  who  lights  a  pipe  seldom  gets  more  than  two 
whiffs  of  its  contents,  as  it  is  immediately  passed  around. 

As  a  people  they  may  be  termed  warlike;  and  war-councils,  making 
speeches,  and  drinking  ava,  may  be  called  the  business  of  their  lives. 

The  women  are  said  to  be  virtuous ;  their  employments  are  to  make 
tapa,  mats,  baskets,  &c.,  and  do  the  housew'ork.  The  men  cultivate 
the  ground,  and  fish.  The  females  are  more  in  the  habit  of  using 
lime-water  and  lime  on  their  hair  than  those  we  have  seen  elsewhere. 
This  application  turns  it  red,  but  its  chief  use  is  to  promote  cleanliness. 
Of  the  ingenuity  of  the  men  we  saw  many  proofs,  in  their  manufacture 
of  boxes,  baskets,  and  miniature  canoes. 

The  last  day  I  visited  Nukualofa,  Mr.  Tucker  was  kind  enough  to 
take  me  to  see  Tamahaa,  the  aunt  of  Tui  Tonga,  who  is  considered 
of  divine  origin,  for  which  reason  great  respect  and  hotiours  are  paid 
her.  It  is  said  that  she  has  great  influence  with  the  heathen,  although 
being  a  convert,  she  is  favourable  to  the  Christian  side.  As  a  token 
of  the  great  respect  with  which  she  is  regarded,  it  was  remarked  that 
the  natives  never  turn  the  back  upon  her  until  at  thirty  or  forty  feet 
distance,  and  never  eat  in  her  presence.  She  is  old  enough  to  remem- 
ber the  arrival  of  Cook  when  she  was  a  child.  We  found  her  sittino- 
in  her  house,  with  a  child  who  could  just  walk,  (both  enclosed  in  a 
rolled  screen,  before  described,)  whom  she  was  feeding  with  cocoa- 
nut  pulp.  We  shook  hands  and  sat  some  time  with  her,  making  many 
inquiries  about  the  former  persons  of  the  island,  which  the  entertain- 
ing volumes  of  Dr.  Martin,  relating  the  adventures  of  Mariner,  had 
made  me  acquainted  with.  She  seemed  to  know  Togi  Uummea,  the 
name  by  which  Mariner  was  known,  and  also  most  of  the  people 
mentioned  in  Mariner's  account. 

On  a  visit  to  the  missionaries,  I  found  Tubou  or  King  Josiah,  who 
had  been  sitting  for  his  pictui'e,  and  had  fallen  fast  asleep.  Wishing 
to  get  some  information  from  him,  I  felt  desirous  of  waking  him  up. 

28  T  O  N  G  A  T  A  B  O  O. 

and  for  that  purpose  asked  him  some  questions  about  the  kingly  sport 
of  rat-hunting,  described  in  Mariner's  Tonga  Islands,  and  whether  he 
could  not  indulge  me  with  an  exhibition  of  a  hunt.  His  eyes  at  once 
brightened,  and  he  became  aroused  to  great  animation,  as  though  his 
former  feats  and  pleasure  in  this  sport  were  vividly  before  him.  He 
regretted  that  the  present  state  of  the  island,  and  the  all-engrossing 
war,  occupied  too  much  of  their  attention  to  allow  them  to  engage  in 
any  such  peaceful  occupation.  He  was  represented  to  be  a  great 
sportsman,  and  the  animation  with  which  he  spoke  gave  evident  proof 
of  it.  He  said  that  the  game  or  sport  was  now  seldom  practised  ;  that 
the  rats  had  in  consequence,  much  increased,  and  were  a  great  annoy- 
ance to  the  cultivator ; — but  the  war  seemed  to  engross  all  the  powers 
of  his  feeble  mind.  He  told  me  that  the  heathen  in  all  had  fifteen 
hundred  warriors ;  that  they  usually  made  war  by  attacking  the  taro 
and  yam-grounds  ;  these  they  plunder  and  destroy,  which  ultimately 
produces  a  famine,  not  only  to  their  enemies  but  to  themselves.  He 
seemed  to  rejoice  that  the  heathen  had  made  the  first  attack,  as  they 
would  thereby,  according  to  their  belief,  be  conquered.  He  told  me 
he  much  desired  peace  and  quietness,  and  was  willing  to  do  any  thing 
to  bring  it  about;  and  as  far  as  he  was  personally  concerned,  I  believe 
he  was  in  earnest,  for  every  one  seemed  to  give  him  the  credit  of 
being  an  imbecile  sleepy  fellow,  and  paid  him  little  or  no  respect. 

During  this  visit  I  also  saw  a  noted  Feejee  warrior,  who  had  been 
absent  from  Tonga  many  years,  and  on  his  return  had  been  engaged 
in  these  wars ;  he  was  described  as  a  very  wicked  fellow,  and  if  so,  I 
can  only  say  that  his  looks  did  not  belie  him :  a  worse  or  more  brutal- 
looking  man  I  have  seldom  seen.  I  understood  that  his  arrival  had 
been  looked  for  with  much  impatience  by  the  heathen,  as  affording 
them  additional  strength  in  a  noted  leader ;  but,  to  the  surprise  of  all, 
he  joined  himself  to  King  George,  and  desired  to.  become  a  Christian; 
he  was  received  as  such,  and  was  now  employed  fighting  against  the 

On  the  evening  of  the  day  on  which  King  George  visited  the  ship, 
he  held  a  council,  in  which  he  addressed  his  chiefs  and  warriors  on 
the  necessity  of  carrying  on  the  war  with  vigour ;  and  measures  were 
taken  to  prosecute  it  accordingly.  The  meeting  took  place  in  the 
malai  opposite  his  house,  while  he  sat  in  the  doorway  with  his  two 
children,  with  the  church-people  forming  a  circle  around  him.  At 
this  meeting  was  seen  the  noted  chief  and  Feejee  warrior  who  has 
already  been  spoken  of,  fully  armed,  in  the  background.  After  the 
council  had  debated  and  talked  over  the  subject  fully,  King  George 
gave  some  commands,  which  several  messengers  were  sent  to  execute 


and  the  council  was  dismissed  in  a  truly  primitive  style  and  language : 
"  Let  every  man  go  and  cook  his  yams." 

After  the  assemblage  was  dismissed,  the  king  and  chiefs  remained 
some  time  in  consultation.  In  this  council,  an  attack  upon  the  heathen 
towns  was  arranged.  The  next  morning,  smoke  was  seen  ascending 
from  some  of  the  heathen  villages,  and  word  was  brought  to  me  after- 
wards, that  King  George,  having  sallied  forth  with  eight  hundred 
warriors  at  midnight,  had  burned  two  of  the  heathen  towns.  Al- 
though he  had  ordered  seven  hundred  more  warriors  to  follow  him  at 
daylight,  he  did  not  pursue  the  heathen,  who  fled  before  him.  On  his 
return  in  the  evening  he  held  an  ava  feast  in  honour  of  his  success  ;  at 
this  meeting,  Lavaka  and  Ata,  or  the  chiefs  who  held  these  titles,  were 
formally  degraded  from  their  offices  by  the  king, — a  stroke  of  policy 
that  is  thought  will  have  much  influence  in  alienating  this  people,  as  it 
has  usually  had  that  effect ;  I,  however,  very  much  question  its  success 
in  the  present  instance,  when  the  parties  have  such  a  deadly  animosity 
towards  each  other ;  for  the  very  authority  by  which  the  act  of 
degradation  is  performed,  has  abandoned  the  religion  by  which  the  act 
was  sanctioned. 

The  population  of  the  Tonga  Islands,  as  now  given  by  the  missiona- 
ries, is  18,500,  viz.: 

Eooa,  200 

Hapai,  4,000 

Vavao,  4,000 

Keppel's, 1,000 

Boscawen, 1,300 

Tonga,  8,000 

Total,         ....       18,500 

At  present  the  number  on  Tonga  is  increased  by  about  one  thousand. 

About  four  thousand  five  hundred  of  the  natives  are  Christians,  of 
whom  two  thousand  five  hundred  are  church  members. 

The  jurisdiction  of  Tui  Kanakabolo,  or  Lord  of  Kanakabolo,  used 
to  extend  to  Uea  or  Wallis  Island,  and  several  of  the  smaller  islands 
in  the  neighbourhood. 
.   This  group  of  islands  is  divided  into  three  missionary  stations,  viz. : 

Tongataboo,  commenced  in 1829 

Hapai,  " 1829 

V^avao,  « 1830 

The  missionaries  reside  at  each  of  these  stations.  The  smaller 
islands  are  under  the  care  of  native  teachers,  and  are  visited  occa- 




sionaliy  by  the  missionaries  to  marry  and  baptize,  &c.  There  is  a 
printing-press  established  at  Vavao,  which  has  been  in  operation  since 
1832.  Many  of  the  women  can  sew,  and  a  great  number  of  the  na- 
tives have  learned  to  read  and  wa'ite ;  a  few  of  them  have  been  taught 
the  rules  of  arithmetic,  and  the  principles  of  geography.  A  very 
great  improvement  has  taken  place  in  the  morals  of  the  Christian  part 
of  the  community;  but  the  attachment  of  the  people  to  their  ancient 
usages  is  so  strong,  and  the  island  so  little  visited  by  civilized  nations, 
that  they  have  not  had  that  stimulus  to  improvement  which  others  have 
derived  from  such  advantages. 

While  I  bear  witness  to  the  arduous   labours    and  well-conducted 
operations  of  these  missionaries,  I  cannot  help  remarking  that  I  was 
disappointed  in  finding  religious  intolerance  existing  among  them.     It 
was  to  be  expected,  that  among  a  class  so  devoted,  and  undergoing  so 
many  privations,  dangers,  and  sacrifices  for  the  cause  they  are  en- 
gaged in,  charity  would  not  have  been  wanting ;  and  that  they  would 
have  extended  a  friendly  hand  to  all,  of  whatever   persuasion,  who 
came  within  their  sphere  of  duty,  especially  those  engaged  in  similar 
duties  with  themselves;  but  an  instance  of  intolerance  came  to  my 
knowledge  here,  that  I  regretted  to  hear  of     On  board  the  Currency 
Lass  were  tvs^o  Catholic  missionaries,  who  had  been  in  this  small  vessel 
of  one  hundred  and  twenty  tons  for  five  months,  and  three  w^eeks  of 
that  time  they  were  in  this  harbour,  without  having  received  even  an 
invitation  to  visit  the  shore  from  the  Wesleyan  missionaries,  nor  were 
any  civilities  whatever  offered  or  paid  to  them.     I  can  easily  conceive 
why  objections  should  be   made  to  their   preaching  or  remaining  to 
propagate   their  creed  in   a  field  that  was  already  occupied ;  but  to 
withhold  from  them  the  common  courtesies  of  life,  in  the  present  state 
of  the  world,  surprised  me  not  little ;  and  I  am  satisfied  that  the  exam- 
ple set  in  this  case  by  the  missionaries  has  caused  much  remark  among 
the  natives  themselves  upon  this  want  of  hospitality.      They  cannot 
understand  the  dogmas  of  the  different  sects  of  Christians,  so  that  they 
naturally  look  upon  them  all  as  missionaries  of  this  same  faith,  and 
cannot  see  why  they  should  treat  each  other  with  less  courtesy  than  is 
extended  to  those  w^ho  are  not  missionaries.     Their  ideas  of  enemies 
only  extend  to  those  who  fight,  which  they  well  know  all  missionaries 
refuse  to  do.     Were  missionaries  aware  of  the  unfavourable  impres- 
sion produced  on  the  minds  of  most  of  the  natives  by  such  intolerance, 
it  would  never  be  practised,  particularly  as  it  is  calculated  to  excite 
prejudices  in  strangers  who  visit  their  different  mission  stations,  which 
not  unfrequently  so  blinds  them  that  they  go  away  with  unfavourable 
impressions.     Every  endeavour  is  frequently  made   by   those  whites 


who  are  resident  near  them  to  store  up  and  repeal  these  facts,  with 
exaggerations,  which  go  far  to  damp  the  ardour  of  those  who  are  in- 
terested in  forwarding  the  great  cause  in  which  they  are  engaged. 
For  all  these  considerations,  they  ought  to  avoid,  by  every  means^  fall- 
ing short  of  that  high-minded  liberality  that  is  expected  from  them. 

The  Tongese  are  remarkable  for  their  feats  in  swimming,  and  are 
very  daring  when  sailing  their  canoes.  An  instance  was  told  me  that 
occurred  in  1889,  the  year  before  our  visit,  which  is  looked  upon  as  a 
well-established  fact  in  this  group.  Two  canoes  left  Hapai  for  Vavao; 
on  their  way,  the  wind  arose  and  blew  a  strong  gale  from  the  north 
directly  against  them ;  one  of  them  was  driven  back  and  landed  at 
Ofalanga,  an  uninhabited  island  of  the  group,  occasionally  visited  by 
the  natives  for  nuts,  shells,  fish,  &c. ;  in  the  other  canoe  as  they  were 
taking  in  sail,  a  man  fell  overboard,  and  the  wind  and  sea  being  strong 
and  high,  it  was  found  impossible  to  save  him  without  risking  the 
lives  of  all  on  board,  and  he  was  given  up;  this  was  about  four 
o'clock,  and  the  canoe  was  just  in  sight  of  land.  The  man  accord- 
ingly turned  his  face  towards  Hapai,  and  resolved  to  reach  it  if 
possible ;  he  knew  the  wind  was  north,  and  directed  his  course  by 
feeling  the  wind  in  his  right  and  left  ear,  intending  to  swim  before  it; 
he  continued  swimming,  and  resting  by  floating  upon  the  water,  until 
the  moon  rose ;  he  then  steered  his  course  by  that  luminary,  and  thus 
continued  until  morning,  when  he  was  near  land  and  almost  within 
reach  of  the  coral  reef.  When  he  had  thus  nearly  escaped  drowning, 
he  was  on  the  point  of  becoming  the  prey  of  a  huge  shark,  whose 
jaws  he  avoided  by  reaching  the  coral  shelf;  he  then  landed  upon  the 
island,  which  proved  to  be  Ofalanga,  where  the  first  canoe  had  been 
driven ;  the  crew  found  him  on  the  beach  senseless,  and  attended  to 
him ;  he  soon  was  brought  to,  and  shortly  afterwards  recovered  his 
strength.  This  man's  name  is  Theophilus  Tohu;  he  is  a  native  of 
Huano  on  the  island  of  Hapai.  The  canoe  from  which  he  was  lost 
returned  to  Huano  before  Theophilus  did,  and  when  he  reached  his 
home,  he  found  his  friends  had  passed  through  the  usual  ceremonies 
of  his  funeral. 

The  island  of  Tongataboo  is  of  coral  formation,  and  with  extensive 
coral  reefs  to  the  northward  of  it ;  it  has  a  shallow  lagoon,  which  ex- 
tends about  ten  miles  into  the  interior.  The  soil  is  deeper  than  upon 
any  island  of  coral  formation  we  have  yet  visited ;  it  is  nearly  a  dead 
level,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  hillocks,  thirty  or  forty  feet  high  ;  the 
soil  is  a  rich  and  fertile  vegetable  mould,  and  it  is  not  composed  of 
sand,  as  in  the  other  coral  islands.  The  vegetation,  pi'obably  for  this 
reason,  does  not  altogether  resemble  that  found  on  those  islands.     The 


luxuriance  of  the  foliage  is  not  surpassed.  Some  few  specimens  of 
pumice  have  been  found  on  its  shores,  probably  drifted  there  from  the 
island  of  Tofooa,  which  is  said  to  have  an  active  volcano.  Tofooa  is 
the  highest  island  of  the  group,  and  next  in  height  is  Eooa.  There 
is  a  marked  difference  in  the  appearance  of  the  islands  of  Eooa  and 
Tonga  ;  on  the  former  of  which  there  is  comparatively  little  vege- 

On  Tonga,  although  the  vegetation  equals  any  within  the  tropics,  I 
was  struck  with  the  exaggerated  accounts  of  the  cultivation  of  the 
island  ;  for,  so  far  from  finding  it  a  perfect  garden,  exhibiting  the 
greatest  care  in  its  cultivation,  it  now  appeared  to  be  entirely  neglected. 
The  yam-grounds  are  more  in  the  interior  of  the  island,  and  in  conse- 
quence of  the  war,  there  was  no  safety  in  passing  beyond  the  limits  of 
the  party  which  possessed  the  north  part  of  the  island,  or  that  in  the 
vicinity  of  Nukualofa. 

The  natives  cultivate  yams,  sweet-potatoes,  bananas,  cocoa-nuts, 
bread-fruit,  sugar-cane,  shaddock,  limes,  and  the  ti  (Spondias  dulcis) ; 
the  pandanus  is  much  attended  to,  and  is  one  of  their  most  useful  trees, 
and  of  it  all  their  mats  are  made ;  a  little  corn  is  grown,  and  they  have 
the  papaw-apple  (Papaya),  and  water-melon.  The  missionaries  have 
introduced  the  sweet  orange  from  Tahiti,  and  a  species  of  cherimoyer 
(Annona) ;  many  other  things  have,  as  I  learned,  been  attempted,  but 
have  hitherto  failed.  I  presented  the  missionaries  with  a  variety  of 
both  fruit  and  vegetable  seeds,  and  trust  that  they  will  succeed  and  be 
of  advantage  to  future  visiters ;  the  natives,  I  was  told,  understand  the 
different  kinds,  discriminating  among  them  in  their  planting. 

The  botany  of  this  island  resembles  that  of  the  Samoan  Group.  A 
species  of  nutmeg  was  found  here,  diflfering  from  either  of  the  Samoan 
ones :  the  trees  were  very  full  of  fruit,  and  much  larger ;  one  of  them 
was  observed  a  foot  and  a  half  in  diameter,  and  upwards  of  forty  feet 
in  height.  There  was  a  number  of  ornamental  shrubs.  A  description 
of  climbing  plants,  which  it  was  found  a  difficult  matter  to  trace  among 
the  varieties  of  forest  trees,  gave  a  peculiar  character  to  some  parts  of 
this  overgrown  island. 

The  climate  of  Tonga  is  humid  and  the  heat  oppressive,  rising  fre- 
quently to  98°  in  the  shade ;  much  rain  falls ;  the  mean  temperature 
during  our  stay  was  79-25°.  The  trade-winds  are  by  no  means  con- 
stant, and  westerly  winds  occasionally  blow  in  every  season,  which, 
from  their  variable  character,  have  obtained  the  name  with  the  natives 
of  "  foolish  winds." 

We  had  to  regret  the  state  the  island  was  in,  as  it  prevented  our 
making  that  full  examination  of  it  that  I  had  intended  and  hoped ;  we 


saw  enough,  however,  to  satisfy  ourselves  that  Tongataboo  is  not  the 
cuhivated  garden  it  has  been  represented  to  be.  The  Ficus  tree  figured 
in  the  voyage  of  the  Astrolabe,  whose  trunk  is  there  stated  to  be  one 
hundred  feet  in  circumference,  was  visited.  We  were  surprised  to 
find  it  had  no  proper  trunk,  but  only  a  mass  of  intertwined  roots, 
through  which  it  is  possible  to  see  in  many  directions,  rising  to  a  height 
of  eighty  or  ninety  feet,  when  it  throws  around  its  great  and  wide- 
spreading  branches.  Two  other  species  of  Ficus  were  found,  one 
with  labiate  branches  and  horizontal  spreading  arms,  the  other  with  a 
trunk  about  nine  feet  in  diameter. 

The  climate  cannot  be  considered  salubrious ;  very  heavy  dews  fall 
at  night,  and  no  constitution  can  endure  frequent  exposure  at  this  time ; 
the  transitions  from  heat  to  cold  are  sudden  and  great,  and  the  nights 
are  often  so  chilly  as  to  make  blankets  necessary. 

Hurricanes  are  frequent  in  this  group,  scarcely  a  season  passing 
without  some  occurrence  of  the  kind:  the  months  of  February  and" 
March  are  those  in  which  they  occur ;  but  they  have  also  taken  place 
in  November  and  December.  The  missionaries  as  yet  have  made  no 
series  of  observations,  nor  kept  any  kind  of  meteorological  diary ;  but 
in  answer  to  my  inquiries  I  obtained  the  information,  that  the  storms 
begin  at  the  northwest,  thence  veer  to  the  eastward,  and  end  in  south- 
east. The  wind  continues  to  increase  until  it  becomes  a  hurricane : 
houses  are  levelled,  and  trees  torn  up  by  the  roots;  vessels  are  di'iven 
on  shore;  canoes  lost  or  driven  hundreds  of  miles  away  to  other 
islands.  In  these  storms  the  wind  is  frequently  observed  to  change 
almost  immediately  from  one  point  to  its  opposite ;  and  in  the  same 
group  of  islands,  trees  have  fallen,  during  the  same  gale,  some  to  the 
south  and  others  to  the  north.  They  are  local  in  their  effects,  and  fall 
chiefly  upon  Hapai  and  Vavao;  if  the  fury  of  the  storm  be  felt  at 
Vavao,  Tonga  generally  escapes,  and  vice-versa;  but  Hapai  is  more 
or  less  the  sufferer  in  both  cases,  situated  as  it  is  between  the  two 
places.  A  very  severe  hurricane  was  felt  at  Lefooka,  Hapai,  in  1834. 
These  hurricanes  vary  in  duration  from  eighteen  to  thirty-six  hours ; 
after  a  destructive  one,  a  famine  generally  ensues,  in  which  numbers 
of  the  natives  die :  it  destroys  all  their  crops.  The  natives  give  the 
name  to  those  which  are  most  severe,  "  Afa  higa  faji,"  or  the  hurricane 
that  throws  down  the  banana-trees. 

Earthquakes  are  frequently  felt  here,  though  there  is  no  knowledge 
of  any  destructive  effects  from  them. 

The  diseases  of  this  climate  are  influenza,  colds,  coughs,  and  con- 
sumption; glandular  swellings,  some  eruptive  complaints,  fevers,  and 
some  slight  irregular  intermittents   are  experienced ;  but  to  judge  from 

VOL.  TII.  5 


the  number  of  old  persons,  longevity  is  by  no  means  uncommon.  The 
venereal  disease  has  not  made  the  same  devastation  here  as  elsewhere; 
probably  because,  as  respects  morals  and  virtue,  these  natives  are  the 
opposite  to  those  of  Tahiti. 

Desirous  of  obtaining  some  of  their  arms,  implements,  and  other 
curiosities,  Mr.  Waldron,  Mr.  Hale,  and  Mr.  Vanderford,  went  to 
Nukualofa  to  make  purchases,  taking  with  them  a  large  assortment  of 
articles  for  the  fair.  The  difficulties  to  be  encountered  in  making 
purchases  of  the  natives  is  scarcely  to  be  imagined ;  no  small  amount 
of  patience  is  required  to  go  through  the  chaffering  that  is  necessary 
to  secure  the, article  desired;  for  if  their  price  is  at  once  acceded  to, 
they  consider  their  bargain  is  a  bad  one.  No  inducement  is  sufficient 
for  them  to  part  with  several  articles  of  a  kind  at  once ;  each  must  be 
disposed  of  separately,  and  on  all,  a  like  chaffering  must  be  gone 
through  with.  The  natives,  before  they  bring  articles  for  sale,  fix  their 
minds  upon  something  they  desire  to  obtain,  and  if  that  is  not  to  be 
had,  they  take  their  things  away  again,  it  matters  not  whether  the 
article  is  equivalent  in  value  or  not.  Mr.  Vanderford,  who  has  been 
here  several  times  since  1810,  told  me  "  he  had  never  found  the  Tonga 
people  such  saucy  fellows." 

During  our  stay  here,  we  were  much  incommoded  by  the  mus- 
quitoes.  I  never  saw  them  more  troublesome ;  and  for  three  or  four 
nights  the  officers  and  men  obtained  no  sleep,  which,  added  to  the 
excessive  heat,  was  overpowering,  after  the  fatigues  of  a  day  spent  in 
surveying.  I  never  saw  the  men  look  as  much  fatigued  when  the  day 
dawned ;  some  of  them  declared  that  the  musquitoes  had  bitten  through 
every  thing  but  their  boots  and  hats ;  they  even  sought  shelter  in  the 
tops  and  cross-trees,  hoping  thus  to  escape  the  attacks  of  these  tor- 
mentors ;  the  ship  was  so  filled  with  them,  that  she  was  (not  unaptly) 
likened  to  a  musical-box.  Their  attacks  bade  defiance  to  all  defences 
in  the  way  of  musquito-nets ;  night  observations  became  almost  imprac- 
ticable in  consequence  of  this  intolerable  annoyance,  and  I  felt  quite 
desirous  for  the  time  of  our  departure  from  the  island  to  arrive. 

On  the  1st  of  May,  our  observations  and  surveying  duties  being 
completed,  the  instruments  were  embarked,  and  the  boats  hoisted  in. 
A  new  difficulty  now  arose ;  for  I  was  informed  that  the  native  pilots 
had  received  a  message  from  the  king,  forbidding  them  to  take  the 
ships  through  the  reefs ;  and  although  we  needed  their  services  but  little, 
yet  I  thought  it  was  a  circumstance  that  required  some  investigation. 
I  however  gave  orders  to  weigh  anchor ;  but,  while  in  the  act  of  doing 
so,  the  Porpoise  was  reported  as  in  sight:  I  therefore  awaited  her 
joining  company.     She  had  been  detained  in  consequence   of  light, 

T  O  N  G  A  T  A  B  O  O.  35 

variable  winds ;  had  seen  nothing  of  Vasquez  Island,  but  had  sighted 
Pylstart's  Island. 

We  found  that  the  crew  of  the  Porpoise  had  been,  as  well  as  our- 
selves, affected  by  the  epidemic  influenza,  and  that  one  case  (that  of 
David  Bateman  the  marine)  was  somewhat  serious;  we  therefore 
received  him  on  board  the  Vincennes,  for  his  better  accommodation. 

In  the  afternoon  we  ran  down  to  the  anchorage,  off  Nukualofa, 
when  the  Porpoise  and  Flying-Fish  both  went  ashore  on  the  reef,  in 
consequence  of  the  sun  preventing  it  from  being  seen ;  they  got  off 
soon  after  without  any  damage.  On  anchoring,  I  despatched  an  officer 
on  shore,  to  inquire  into  the  reason  of  the  order  sent  the  pilots ;  word 
was  immediately  returned,  on  the  part  of  the  kings,  that  they  knew 
nothing  of  the  business;  and  they  disclaimed  any  interference  with 
them  at  all.  On  further  investigation,  the  report  was  found  to  have 
grown  out  of  the  jealousy  between  two  pilots,  Tahiti  Jim  and  Isaac : 
the  former  being  the  favourite  of  King  George,  whilst  the  latter  was 
attached  to  King  Josiah.  Isaac  having  come  on  board  first,  was 
accepted  as  pilot;  but  Tahiti  Jim  being  shrewd  and  cunning,  (of 
which  we  had  much  experience  afterwards,)  did  not  like  the  idea  of 
Isaac,  who,  as  he  told  me,  was  no  pilot,  reaping  all  the  reward ;  he 
accordingly  intimated  to  him,  that  unless  he  promised  to  share  the 
profits  with  him,  he  should  report  him  to  King  George ;  and  that  if 
he  got  the  ship  ashore  the  captain  would  hang  him.  This  so  alarmed 
Isaac,  that,  being  unwilling  to  fall  under  the  displeasure  of  the  king, 
and  equally  so  to  divide  his  profits,  concocted  the  story  that  he  was 
ordered  by  the  king  not  to  take  the  vessel  to  sea.  I  rather  suspected 
Tahiti  Jim  of  delivering  such  a  message ;  finding,  however,  since  the 
arrival  of  the  Porpoise,  that  there  was  now  a  prospect  of  profit  for 
both,  they  became  reconciled.  This  affair  being  settled,  and  having 
finished  my  orders  for  the  Peacock,  and  sent  them  to  the  missionaries, 
we  hove  up  our  anchors,  and  made  sail.  Before  we  had  got  without 
the  reef,  a  sail  was  descried,  which  proved  to  be  the  Peacock.  After 
passing  congratulations,  by  cheering,  I  made  signal  to  anchor,  which 
was  done,  near  the  outer  reefs,  in  ten  fathoms  water.  We  were  now 
once  more  together,  and  only  a  few  days  behind  the  time  allotted  for 
reaching  the  Feejee  Group,  and  beginning  operations  there. 

The  Peacock,  as  we  have  seen,  was  left  at  Sydney  to  complete  her 
repairs ;  these  detained  her  until  the  30th  of  March,  for  it  was  found 
extremely  difficult  to  obtain  mechanics ;  and  all  who  were  employed, 
except  two,  were  a  lazy  and  drunken  set :  they  all  belong  to  the 
"  Trades'  Union ;"  and  to  such  an  extreme  is  the  action  of  this  asso- 
ciation carried,  that  they  invariably  support  the  most  worthless,  and 


make  common  cause  with  them.  Employers  are  completely  under 
their  control,  and  there  is  no  manner  of  redress  for  idleness  or  bad 
work.  If  the  employer  complains,  they  all  leave  work,  refusing  to 
do  any  thing  more,  and  soon  compel  him  to  re-engage  them  through 

The  repairs  were  made,  as  has  been  stated,  in  Mossman's  Cove,  on 
the  north  shore  of  the  harbour  of  Sydney,  one  of  the  many  natural 
docks  that  nature  has  provided  for  this  harbour.  The  ship  was  laid 
aground,  so  as  to  expose  her  whole  fore-foot,  during  the  ebb  tide. 
The  damage  which  she  had  sustained  has  been  before  spoken  of;  the 
stem  was  literally  worn  to  within  an  inch  and  a  half  of  the  wood- 
ends.  After  repairing  this,  by  scraping  the  stem  and  putting  on  a 
new  cut-water,  they  made  use  of  a  diving  apparatus  to  place  the  new 
braces,  and  mend  the  copper  that  was  broken. 

Although  they  were  removed  some  distance  from  Sydney  and  its 
vile  grog-shops,  despite  the  utmost  caution  to  prevent  the  crew  from 
pi'ocuring  spirits,  it  was  found  that  a  plan  had  been  formed  to  supply 
them  with  it.  In  a  hut  near  by,  lived  an  Irishman,  familiarly  called 
Paddy,  who  acted  as  a  kind  of  suttler,  in  supplying  the  messes  of  the 
officers  and  men  with  fresh  bread  and  milk,  and  also  doing  the  washing. 
After  a  few  days  it  was  discovered  that  the  men  were  obtaining  some 
extra  allowance  of  spirits,  and  suspicions  naturally  enough  fell  on 
Paddy  as  the  cause  of  this  irregularity,  and  its  consequent  disturb- 
ances. Orders  v/ere  therefore  given  to  search  him,  on  his  next  visit  to 
the  ship ;  this  fully  confirmed  the  suspicion,  and  his  presence  on  board 
was  at  once  interdicted. 

Paddy  had  no  idea  of  being  thus  defeated  in  reaping  his  harvest 
from  the  ship's  company ;  he  therefore  enlisted  in  his  service  a  man, 
if  possible,  of  a  worse  character  than  himself,  whom  he  kept  con- 
stantly supplied  with  rum,  brandy,  and  gin  from  Sydney,  and  made 
it  known  to  the  crew  that  he  was  ready  to  furnish  his  former  custo- 
mers. The  men  soon  managed,  under  various  pretexts,  to  visit  his  hut, 
and  supply  themselves  at  the  expense  of  their  clothing,  or  some  other 
equivalent.  This  new  arrangement  succeeded  for  a  time,  but  was  at 
length  detected,  and  the  nuisance  wholly  stopped ;  steps  were  also 
taken  for  the  punishment  of  the  offenders,  by  making  a  complaint 
against  them,  which  caused  the  apprehension  of  Paddy  and  his 
partner,  and  he  was  required  to  pay  a  fine  of  £30,  or  be  imprisoned 
for  six  months. 

Paddy  was  not  the  only  annoyance  they  had  to  encounter.  Another 
was  the  poisonous  snakes  that  infest  the  secluded  nooks  of  Mossman's 
Bay,  numbers  of  which  were  daily  seen  near  the  ship ;  among  them 

T  O  N  G  A  T  A  B  O  O.  37 

was  one  resembling  the  diamond-snake,  of  a  light  silvery  colour,  about 
eighteen  inches  in  length,  and  as  thick  as  the  little  finger:  these  are 
very  numerous,  and  it  is  very  desirable  to  avoid  coming  in  contact 
with  them,  for  their  bite  has  often  proved  fatal.  Instances  are  known 
in  Sydney  of  persons  who  have  been  bitten,  and  have  died  in  a  few 
hours.  An  eminent  physician  of  Sydney,  on  being  asked  the  treatment 
in  case  of  a  bite,  replied  :  "  To  bandage  the  affected  part  as  soon  as 
possible,  cut  it  out,  and  as  soon  as  preparations  can  be  made,  ampu- 
tate the  limb !"  These  venomous  snakes  frequently  crawl  into  houses 
near  the  woods,  and  persons  have  been  bitten  whilst  sitting  at  their 
doors  in  the  evening.  A  lady,  living  on  the  north  shore  near  the  resi- 
dence of  the  American  consul,  was  sitting  playing  on  the  piano,  when, 
hearing  some  rustling  noise,  suddenly  looked  around,  and  discovered  a 
diamond-snake  only  a  short  distance  from  her;  she  screamed  aloud 
and  jumped  on  the  music-stool ;  a  servant  soon  came  to  the  rescue,  and 
killed  the  intruder.  Instances  occur  repeatedly  of  these  snakes  infest- 
ing the  houses,  and  so  common  are  they,  that  if  a  person  is  stung,  it  is 
at  once  supposed  to  be  by  a  snake.  The  effects  of  the  bite,  if  not  fatal, 
are  said  to  produce  partial  blindness. 

On  the  30th  of  March  they  left  Sydney,  and  passed  the  Heads  of 
Port  Jackson  on  the  same  afternoon.  They  had  at  first  light  winds, 
and  made  but  little  progress.  When  about  seventy  miles  from  the 
coast,  in  latitude  33^°  S.,  they  experienced  a  change  of  four  degrees 
in  the  temperature  of  the  sea  ;  and  on  the  3d  of  April,  they  found  they 
had  been  set  thirty  miles  to  the  southward  during  the  day.  On  the 
5th,  the  temperature  again  fell  to  72°,  with  an  easterly  current. 
Several  English  vessels  were  seen  cruising  for  whales  in  latitude  28° 
S.,  longitude  157°  E.  The  winds  continued  contrary  and  light.  On 
the  9th,  in  longitude  159°  43'  E.,  latitude  26°  S.,  an  opportunity 
occurred  for  trying  the  deep-sea  temperature.  At  eight  hundred  and 
thirty  fathoms  below  the  surface,  the  temperature  had  decreased  to 
46°,  that  of  the  surface  being  76° ;  and  the  current  was  found  setting 
east-by-south  half  a  mile  per  hour.  The  next  day,  in  longitude  160° 
E.,  latitude  25°  40'  S.,  the  experiments  were  repeated,  at  different 
depths  ;  the  results  will  be  found  in  Appendix  I. 

The  current  was  now  found  setting  to  the  south-southwest,  at  the 
rate  of  half  a  mile  per  hour. 

On  the  18th  they  again  attempted  to  get  a  deep-sea  cast,  and  had 
nineteen  hundred  fathoms  of  line  out ;  in  hauling  in  the  line  it  parted, 
and  nearly  seventeen  hundred  fathoms  of  it  were  lost,  besides  the  only 
self-registering  thermometer  we  had  left  in  the  squadron,  which  put  a 
stop  to  our  experiments.     They  had  now  several  days  of  light  variable 


winds,  with  occasional  rain  and  much  lightning  and  thunder.  The 
island  of  Eooa  was  made  on  the  30th  of  April,  and  on  the  1st  of  May 
they  passed  through  the  reefs  and  joined  the  squadron. 

The  present  King  Josiah  is  one  of  the  sons  of  Mumui,  who  was 
reigning  in  Cook's  time.  Three  of  King  Josiah's  brothers  have  pre- 
ceded him  as  rulers  of  Tonga:  these  were  Tugo  Aho,  Tubou  Toa,  and 
Tubou  Maloki.  The  fii^st  reigned  but  a  short  time,  being  put  to  death 
by  Tubou  Ninha,  a  brother  of  the  celebrated  Finau.  Tubou  Ninha 
was  afterwards  murdered  by  Tubou  Toa,  who  reigned  over  the  Hapai 
Islands,  Tubou  Maloki  receiving  the  title  of  King  of  Tonga,  or  rather 
Tui  Kanakabolo,  or  Lord  of  Kanakabolo,  while  that  of  Vavao  was 
governed  by  the  younger  Finau,  adopted  son  of  Finau  Ulukalalu.  This 
was  the  state  of  the  island  at  the  time  of  Mariner's,  or  Togi  Uummea's 
visit.  A  few  months  after  his  departure,  Finau  died  a  natural  death, 
and  w-as  succeeded  by  his  uncle,  Finau  Feejee,  having  Toa  Omoo  to 
assist  him.  Finau  Feejee  was  murdered  by  Hala  Apiapia,  who  suc- 
ceeded him  ;  but  his  ambition  of  obtaining  kingly  power  was  not  long 
satisfied,  before  he  was  put  to  death  by  Paunga,  a  high  chief  The 
son  of  Finau  Ulukalalu,  named  Tuabiji,  succeeded,  but  died  within  a 
few  years,  and  did  not  bear  a  good  character.  His  dominions  were 
immediately  seized  upon  by  Taufaahau,  the  present  King  George,  then 
King  of  Hapai,  the  son  of  Tubou  Toa,  and  grandson  of  Mumui;  and 
there  is  now  a  prospect  of  his  becoming  king  of  the  whole  group.  The 
Tui  Kanakabolo,  Tubou  Maloki,  was  succeeded  by  the  present  King 
Josiah,  or  Tubou.  Before  the  death  of  Tubou  Maloki,  his  power  had 
become  very  limited,  Tonga  itself  being  distracted  by  many  civil  broils; 
neither  has  his  successor.  King  Josiah,  more  energy.  His  domain 
may  now  be  said  to  be  circumscribed  to  the  town  of  Nukualofa;  and  if 
it  had  not  been  for  the  timely  aid  of  Taufaahau,  he  would  in  all  pro- 
bability ere  now  have  been  driven  from  his  kingdom.  The  son  of 
Tubou  Maloki,  Mumui,  before  spoken  of,  is  most  thought  of  as  his 
successor,  though  against  such  a  powerful  competitor  as  King  George, 
he  does  not  stand  much  chance. 

Since  leaving  the  island,  in  the  month  of  August,  whilst  employed  in 
the  neighbouring  group  (the  Feejee),  we  learned  that  the  war  in  Tonga 
had  terminated  very  differently  from  what  had  been  anticipated, — in 
the  complete  rout  of  the  Christian  party,  King  George  and  all  his 
warriors  being  compelled  to  fly  the  island.  On  the  arrival  of  Captain 
Croker,  of  H.  B.  M.  sloop  Favourite,  he  warmly  interested  himself  in 
the  advancement  of  the  missionary  cause,  and  determined  to  engage 
in  negotiations  with  the  heathen  ;  but  finding  that  many  difficulties 
impeded  his  plans,  he  unfortunately  determined  to  bring  matters  at 


once  to  an  issue,  and  demanded  that  the  terms  he  dictated  should  be 
acceded  to  by  the  heathen  within  a  few  hours.  To  enforce  his  demand, 
he  landed  a  large  part  of  his  crew,  with  officers,  and  proceeded  to  the 
fortress  of  Bea ;  only  an  hour  was  given  its  defenders  to  decide.  I 
am  informed  that  it  has  since  been  understood  that  if  a  longer  time 
had  been  granted,  they  would  have  acceded  to  his  demand.  He  was 
punctual  to  his  time,  and  on  the  chiefs  refusing  to  surrender,  he  made 
an  attack  upon  the  fortress.  On  his  advancing  near  the  gate,  he,  with 
many  of  his  officers  and  men  were  shot  down ;  the  survivors  suffered 
a  total  defeat,  and  were  obliged  to  retreat  forthwith.  The  heathen 
now  became  the  assailants,  and  the  Christian  party,  together  with  the 
missionaries,  were  forced  to  embark,  and  afterwards  landed  at  Vavao; 
King  George  was  obliged  to  retire,  and  Nukualofa  was  invested  by  the 
heathen.  Thus  ended  this  religious  war,  and  I  cannot  but  beheve  that 
the  precipitate  zeal  of  the  missionaries  was  the  cause  of  so  disastrous 
a  result.  That  the  heathen  were  well  disposed  to  make  peace,  I  am 
well  assured ;  a  little  patience  and  forbearance,  and  at  the  same  time 
encouraging  intercourse  with  their  towns  and  setting  them  a  good 
example,  would  have  gradually  and  surely  brought  about  the  desired 
results ;  while  to  force  them  to  become  converts,  was  a  mode  of  pro- 
ceeding calculated  only  to  excite  their  enmity  and  opposition. 

The  night  previous  to  our  sailing,  May  3d,  two  of  the  Feejee 
women  who  had  been  smuggled  from  Vavao  by  Captain  Wilson, 
paddled  off  in  a  canoe  to  the  Peacock,  entreating  to  be  received  on 
board  and  conveyed  to  their  own  country,  and  with  the  view  of 
securing  their  object,  it  was  found  they  had  thrown  away  their 
paddles.  The  request  was  denied,  and  Captain  Hudson  had  new  ones 
at  once  made  for  them ;  they  were  compelled  to  enter  their  canoe 
again,  and  paddled  off.  They  then  visited  the  tender  Flying-Fish, 
and  in  order  to  prevent  their  being  turned  off  in  the  same  way,  they 
set  their  canoe  adrift.  As  it  was  late  at  night,  they  were  retained  on 
board,  and  sent  to  the  Vincennes  early  in  the  morning.  Well  under- 
standing, from  the  interview  I  had  with  King  George  in  relation  to 
the  Currency  Lass,  his  feelings  on  the  subject,  (for  the  abduction  of 
these  very  women  from  the  island  of  Vavao  had  been  the  cause  of  the 
difficulty,)  I  immediately  ordered  them  to  be  landed.  I  did  this  be- 
cause I  was  not  willing  to  have  an  appearance  of  inconsistency  in  the 
minds  of  these  natives,  in  first  blaming  conduct  I  thought  unwarrant- 
able in  Captain  Wilson,  and  then  doing  the  same  act  myself  Had  I 
taken  any  other  course,  it  would  no  doubt  have  provoked  aggression 
upon  the  first  American  vessel  that  visited  any  of  the  ports  of  this 
group.     My   commiseration   and    that  of  many  of  the  officers  was 


excited  at  the  sight  of  these  poor  defenceless  creatures,  who  were 
desirous  to  return  to  their  native  island,  and  who  had  made  such 
strenuous  efforts  to  accomplish  their  wishes ;  but  my  public  duty  was 
too  well  defined  for  me  to  allow  their  tears  and  entreaties  to  prevail 
over  higher  considerations. 

The  intercourse  between  the  Feejee  and  Tonga  Islanders,  has  been 
of  late  years  frequent;  the  latter  are  more  inclined  to  leave  their 
homes  than  the  former,  and  when  a  Tongese  has  once  visited  the 
Feejee  Group  and  returns  safely,  he  is  looked  upon  as  a  traveller.  In 
Tonga  they  consider  and  look  up  to  the  Feejee  Islanders  as  more 
polished,  and  their  opinions  are  viewed  with  much  respect ;  this,  one 
not  only  observes  in  their  conversation,  but  they  show  it  in  adopting 
their  manners  and  customs,  and  the  attention  and  deference  they  pay 
to  the  opinions  of  those  who  have  visited  or  belong  to  that  group ; 
from  them  they  obtain  their  canoes,  and  have  learned  the  art  of  sailing 
and  navigating  them ;  and  from  the  situation  of  their  islands,  being 
more  exposed  to  a  rough  ocean,  they  are  probably  now  better  and 
more  adventurous  navigators.  This  intercourse  is  kept  up  more  par- 
ticularly with  the  eastern  islands  of  the  Feejees :  at  Lakemba  we 
found  many  of  them  residing.  When  Cook  visited  this  group,  little 
was  known  of  the  Feejees.  Thirty  years  afterwards,  during  the  time 
Mariner  resided  on  the  Tonga  Islands,  the  intercourse  and  informa- 
tion had  become  greater  and  more  accurate;  and  at  the  period  of  our 
visit,  we  heard  of  many  things  that  were  passing  in  that  group  as 
familiar  topics ;  and  we  found  among  them  many  Tongese  who  were 
enjoying  the  hospitality  of  their  western  neighbours.  The  prevailing 
winds  are  in  favour  of  the  intercourse  on  the  side  of  the  Tongese, 
which  may  in  some  measure  account  for  it;  and  the  favour  with  which 
they  have  always  been  received,  and  the  flattering  accounts  those  who 
returned  have  given  of  their  reception,  may  in  some  measure  account 
for  the  desire  they  always  evince  to  pay  the  Feejee  Group  a  visit.  In 
a  very  few  years,  through  the  intercourse  that  will  be  brought  about 
by  the  missionaries,  there  will  be  as  much  passing  to  and  fro  between 
them,  as  there  is  now  among  the  several  islands  of  either  group,  which 
will  have  a  great  tendency  to  advance  the  civilization  of  both. 

Previous  to  my  departure,  a  sailor  by  the  name  of  Tom  Granby 
desired  to  have  a  passage  to  the  Feejees,  and  although  I  entertained 
always  much  suspicion  of  the  vagabonds  who  frequent  the  different 
islands,  Tom's  countenance  was  so  very  prepossessing,  and  his  modesty 
as  to  his  capabilities  as  a  pilot  such  as  to  satisfy  me  that  he  was  not 
one  of  the  runaways  or  convicts ;  he  was,  besides,  as  he  informed  me, 
a  resident  of  the  island  of  Ovolau.     I  had  already  made  up  my  mind 



that  this  Island  should  be  the  first  place  the  squadron  should  go  to, 
on  account  of  its  central  position,  which,  if  the  harbour  proved  con- 
venient, offered  the  best  point  whence  to  superintend  the  duties  and  to 
fix  my  observatory  at;  Tom  was  therefore  taken  on  board,  and 
remained  with  us  during  the  whole  time  we  were  in  the  Feejee  Group, 
and  T  was  well  satisfied  with  him  ;  in  short,  he  did  not  belie  his 


VOL.    ill. 







O  V  O  L  A  U. 

At  daylight  on  the  4th  of  May,  the  squadron  got  under  way  from 
the  harbour  of  Nukualofa,  and  passing  without  the  reefs  through  a 
narrow  passage,  safely  bore  off  to  the  westward  under  all  sail,  having 
the  wind  from  east-northeast.  At  meridian  we  had  the  islands  of  Honga 
Tonga  and  Honga  Hapai  to  the  north  of  us ;  these  are  both  high,  and 
are  distant  from  Tonga  twenty-seven  miles.  On  the  5th  we  had  a  sight 
of  Turtle  Island,  and  determined  it  to  be  in  longitude  178°  33'  W., 
latitude  19°  48'  S.  ;*  it  has  the  appearance  of  a  small  rounded  knoll. 
The  wind  was  blowing  fresh  from  the  southeast,  and  after  dark  I 
determined  to  heave-to,  to  await  daylight,  off  the  southern  and  eastern 
islands  of  the  Feejee  Group  ;  this  was  done  in  order  to  set  the  Porpoise 
at  her  work.  Since  leaving  Tonga,  we  have  found  ulcers  prevalent 
among  our  men,  from  the  bites  they  had  received ;  they  were  inflam- 
matory and  difficult  to  cure,  prevailing  among  those  apparently  most 
healthy.  Just  at  dawn  we  made  an  island,  and  at  the  same  time  a 
large  sandbank,  about  half  a  mile  from  us ;  had  darkness  continued 
half  an  hour  longer,  we  should  have  probably  been  wrecked  upon  the 
latter,  as  I  did  not  believe  myself  within  five  miles  of  it.  Our  unex- 
pected vicinity  to  it  was  caused  by  a  strong  current  to  the  northward. 

At  6  A.  M.  we  began  our  observations,  and  at  eight  I  made  signal  to 
the  Porpoise  to  part  company,  in  order  that  Lieutenant-Commandant 
Ringgold  might  proceed  to  carry  into  execution  the  orders  which  will 
be  found  in  Appendix  II. 

We  continued  our  course  with  the  Peacock  and  Flying-Fish  in 

*  Subsequent  observations  by  the  Porpoise,  place  it  in  longitude   178='  37'  13"  W.,  lati- 
tude 19°  50'  R 



O  V  O  L  A  U. 

company.  I  liad  compiled  a  chart  of  the  comparatively  unknown  sea 
we  were  about  to  traverse ;  but  the  weather  was  threatening,  and  from 
the  specimen  we  had  had  in  the  morning  of  its  dangers,  I  thought  it 
would  be  prudent  to  haul  off,  which  I  did,  at  2  p.  m.  At  five,  land 
was  reported  ahead,  and  on  the  lee  bow;  it  proved  to  be  the  island  of 
Totoia,  which  I  now  found  was  thirty  miles  out  of  the  position  assigned 
it  by  former  navigators.  I  at  once  came  to  the  determination  of 
running  into  the  group,  feeling  assured  we  should  thus  save  much  time, 
and  probably  find  smoother  water;  the  dangers  we  had  to  encounter 
in  either  way  were  about  equal.  It  was  now  blowing  a  fresh  gale, 
which  obliged  us  to  take  three  reefs  in  the  topsails  ;  it  is  by  no  means 
a  pleasant  business  to  be  running  over  unknown  ground,  in  a  dark 
night,  before  a  brisk  gale,  at  the  rate  of  seven  or  eight  miles  an  hour. 
The  sea  was  unusually  phosphorescent,  and  the  night  was  disagreeable 
with  rain  and  mists.  The  Peacock  and  Flying-Fish  followed  us.  The 
morning  proved  fine,  and  at  daylight  we  were  within  a  short  distance 
of  the  Horse-shoe  Reef,  unknown  to  any  of  us  but  Tom,  who  thought 
we  must  be  at  least  twenty  miles  from  it.  We  found  ourselves  in  the 
midst  of  a  number  of  beautiful  islands,  viz.,*  Goro,  Vanua-levu,  and 
Somu-somu  on  our  right;  Nairai,  Ambatiki,  and  Matuku,  on  the  left; 
whilst  Ovolau,  Wakaia,  and  Mokungai,  were  in  front ;  they  were  all 
girt  by  white  encircling  reefs.  So  beautiful  was  their  aspect,  that  I 
could  scarcely  bring  my  mind  to  the  realizing  sense  of  the  well-known 
fact,  that  they  were  the  abode  of  a  savage,  ferocious,  and  treacherous 
race  of  cannibals. 

Each  island  had  its  own  peculiar  beauty,  but  the  eye  as  well  as 
mind  felt  more  satisfaction  in  resting  upon  Ovolau,  which  as  we 
approached,  had  more  of  the  appearance  of  civilization  about  it  than 
the  others ;  it  is  also  the  highest,  most  broken,  and  most  picturesque. 
In  consequence  of  light  winds,  we  did  not  succeed  in  reaching  the 
harbour  of  Levuka  that  evening,  and  passed  the  night  under  way, 
between  Ovolau  and  Wakaia.  At  daylight  on  the  8th  of  May,  we 
were  off  the  port,  and  made  all  sail  for  it.  At  nine  o'clock,  being  off"  the 
entrance,  I  took  the  precaution,  as  the  breeze  was  light,  to  hoist  the 
boats  out  (having  to  pass  through  a  passage  only  eight  hundred  feet  in 
width),  and  sent  them  ahead  to  tow.  At  first  it  is  not  a  little  alarming 
to  approach  these  entrances  with  a  light  wind,  and  often  with  a  strong 
current  setting  in  or  out ;  the  ship  rolling  and  tossing  with  the  swell 
as  she  nears  the  reefs,  the  deep-blue  water  of  the  ocean  curling  into 

*  In  the  orthography  of  the  names  of  the  Feejee  Group,  I  have  followed  the  pronuncia- 
tion, and  not  the  true  construction  of  the  language,  which  will  be  explained  in  a  subsequent 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  47 

white  foam  on  them,  with  no  bottom   until  the  entrance   is   gained, 
when  a  beautiful  and  tranquil  basin  opens  to  the  view. 

The  remarkable  peculiarity  of  these  coral  harbours,  if  so  I  may  call 
them,  is  that  in  gaining  them,  it  is  but  an  instant  from  the  time  the  sea 
is  left  until  security  is  found  equal  to  that  of  an  artificial  dock  ;  this  is 
particularly  the  case  with  the  harbour  of  Levuka.  The  shore  was  lined 
with  natives,  watching  our  progress  with  their  usual  curiosity  ;  and  it 
was  amusing  to  hear  the  shouts  of  applause  that  emanated  from  the 
crowds  on  shore,  when  they  witnessed  the  men,  dressed  all  in  white, 
running  up  the  rigging  to  furl  the  sails. 

In  passing  to  the  anchorage,  we  saw  a  tiny  boat,  in  which  was 
David  Whippy,  one  of  the  principal  white  residents  here,  with  one  of 
his  naked  children.  This  man  ran  away  from  a  ship,  commanded  by 
his  brother,  that  was  ti'ading  in  this  group,  in  consequence  of  the  ill 
treatment  he  received  on  board ;  he  now  has  been  eighteen  years  on 
this  island,  and  is  the  principal  man  among  the  whites.  He  is  con- 
sidered a  royal  messenger,  or  Maticum  Ambau,  and  is  much  looked 
up  to  by  the  chiefs.  He  speaks  their  language  well ;  is  a  prudent 
trustworthy  person,  and  understands  the  character  of  the  natives 
perfectly  :  his  worth  and  excellent  character  I  had  long  heard  of.* 
He  immediately  came  on  board  to  welcome  us,  and  after  we  had 
anchored  near  the  town,  he  brought  off  Tui  Levuka,  the  chief  of  the 
Levuka  town.  This  dignitary  was  a  stout,  well-made  man,  strong 
and  athletic,  entirely  naked,  with  the  exception  of  a  scanty  maro, 
with  long  ends  of  white  tapa  hanging  down  before  and  behind,  and  a 
turban  of  white  fleecy  tapa,  not  unlike  tissue-paper,  around  his  head, 
of  enormous  size.  These  turbans  designate  the  chiefs,  and  frequently 
have  a  small  wreath  of  flowers  over  them.  His  face  was  a  shining 
black,  having  been  painted  for  the  occasion ;  his  countenance  had  a 
good  expression,  and  ho  seemed,  after  a  few  moments,  to  be  quite  at  his 
ease.  As  is  customary,  I  at  once  gave  him  a  present  of  two  whale's 
teeth  and  two  fathoms  of  red  cotton  cloth,  with  which  he  was  well 
satisfied,  clapping  his  hands  several  times,  which  is  their  mode  of  ex- 
pressing thanks.  His  hair  was  crisped,  with  a  small  whalebone  stick 
or  needle,  twelve  or  fourteen  inches  in  length,  stuck  into  it  on  one 
side ;  he  did  not  leave  me  long  in  doubt  as  to  the  use  to  which  the 
latter  is  put,  for  it  was  continually  in  requisition  to  scratch  his  head, 
the  vermin  being  not  a  little  troublesome.  He  was  very  desirous  of 
doing  every  thing  for  me,  and  said  that  any  ground  I  wished  to  oc- 

*  He  has,  since  our  return,  been  appointed  vice-consul  for  the  Feejec  Group 


O  V  O  L  A  U. 

cupy,  was  at  the  service  of  the  countrymen  of  his  friend  Whippy. 
Mr.  Drayton  during  our  stay  obtained  a  camera  lucida  drawing  of 
him,  whilst  he  was  leaning  against  a  tree. 



Ovolau  is  the  principal  residence  of  the  white  men  in  the  group,  to 
whose  general  deportment  and  good  conduct  I  must  bear  testimony ;  I 
met  with  none  better  disposed  throughout  the  voyage  than  were  found 
there.  I  at  once  engaged  them  to  become  our  interpreters  during  the 
time  we  stayed,  which  afforded  us  many  advantages  in  communicating 
with  the  natives. 

About  three  hours  after  the  Vincennes  anchored,  the  Peacock  en- 
tered ;  but  there  was  no  news  or  sign  of  the  Flying-Fish,  nor  had  she 
been  seen  while  the  Peacock  was  in  the  offing.  I  felt  much  uneasiness 
about  her,  more  so  on  account  of  the  inexperienced  officer  who  had 
her  in  temporary  charge. 

I  directed  the  chief,  Tui  Levuka,  to  send  a  message  immediately  to 
Ambau,  to  inform  King  Tanoa  of  my  arrival,  and  desire  him  to  visit  me. 
This  was  at  once  assuming  authority  over  him,  and  after  the  fashion  (^as 
I  understood)  of  the  country ;  but  it  was  doubted  by  some  whether  he 
would  come,  as  he  was  old,  and  a  powerful  chief  I  thought  the  ex- 
periment was  worth  trying,  as,  in  case  he  obeyed,  it  would  be  con- 
sidered that  he  acknowledged  me  as  his  superior,  which  I  thought 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  49 

might  be  beneficial  in  case  of  any  difficulty  occurring  during  our  stay  ; 
I  believed,  moreover,  that  it  would  add  greatly  to  the  respect  which 
the  natives  would  hold  us  in. 

The  town  of  Levuka  contains  about  forty  houses  ;  it  is  situated  on 
the  east  side  of  the  island  of  Ovolau,  in  a  quiet  and  peaceful  valley, 
surrounded  by  a  dense  grove  of  cocoa-nut  and  bread-fruit  trees,  with 
a  fine  stream  of  fresh  and  pure  water  running  through  it  to  the 
beach ;  high,  broken  volcanic  peaks  rise  to  the  west,  forming  the 

The  frames  of  the  houses  are  built  of  the  bread-fruit  tree,  and  are 
filled  in  with  reeds,  whilst  the  roof  is  covered  with  a  thatch  of  the  wild 
sugar-cane.  They  are  usually  oblong  in  shape,  and  from  twenty  to 
twenty-five  feet  in  length  by  fifteen  in  breadth. 

The  most  conspicuous  and  remarkable  structure  is  the  mbure,  or 
spirit-house,  which  is  built  on  a  raised  and  walled  mound :  its  propor- 
tions are  exceedingly  uncouth,  being  nearly  twice  as  high  as  it  is  broad 
at  its  base,  and  forming  a  singular,  sharp-peaked  roof;  the  piece  of 
timber  serving  for  the  ridge-pole,  projects  three  or  four  feet  at  each 
end,  is  covered  with  numbers  of  white  shells  (Ovula  cyprsea),  and  has 
two  long  poles  or  spears  crossing  it  at  right  angles.  A  drawing  of 
one  of  these  mbure  will  be  seen  in  the  succeeding  chapter.  At  the 
termination  of  the  thatching,  the  roofs  of  all  the  houses  are  about  a 
foot  thick,  and  project  eighteen  inches  or  two  feet,  forming  eaves, 
which  secure  them  from  the  wet.  For  the  most  part  they  have  two 
doors,  and  a  fire-place  in  the  centre,  composed  of  a  few  stones.  The 
furniture  consists  of  a  few  boxes,  mats,  several  large  clay  jars,  and 
many  drinking  vessels,  the  manufacture  of  pottery  being  extensively 
carried  on  by  them.  The  sleeping-place  is  generally  screened  off,  and 
raised  about  a  foot  above  the  other  part  of  the  floor. 

Having  settled  definitively  the  mode  of  operation  I  intended  to  pursue 
in  surveying  the  group,  I  was  desirous  of  fixing  some  of  the  main  points 
in  my  own  mind,  as  well  as  in  that  of  the  officers,  and  therefore  ordered 
a  large  party  from  each  ship  to  be  prepared  to  accompany  me  on  the 
following  morning,  to  one  of  the  high  peaks  of  the  island,  called  Andu- 
long,  taking  with  us  the  barometers,  &c,,  for  measuring  its  altitude.  I 
likewise  issued  an  order,  directing  officers  who  left  the  ship  for  any 
purpose,  to  be  armed ;  being  well  satisfied  that  every  precaution  ought 
to  be  taken,  in  order  to  prevent  surprise  in  any  shape ;  I  also  impressed 
upon  all  the  necessity  of  circumspection,  and  of  keeping  themselves  on 
their  guard,  which,  as  I  learned  from  the  few  incidents  related  to  me 
by  Whippy  and  others,  was  highly  necessary;  orders  were  also  given 
to  prepare  the  boats  of  both  ships  for  surveying  duties. 

VOL.  HI.  E  7 

50  O  V  O  L  A  U. 

I  understood  that  about  forty  whites  had  taken  up  their  residence 
here;  but  we  only  found  twelve,  who  were  all  married  to  native 
women,  and  generally  had  large  families. 

We  found  lying  at  anchor  here  a  small  sloop,  about  the  size  of  a 
long-boat,  called  "Who'd  have  thought  it!"  a  tender  to  the  ship 
Leonidas,  Captain  Eagleston,  who  was  at  another  island  curing  the 
biche  de  mar ;  she  was  in  charge  of  his  first  officer,  Mr.  Winn,  who 
had  been  about  trading  for  tortoise-shell  at  the  different  islands.  He 
reported  to  me  that  one  of  his  men  had  been  enticed  from  the  boat,  and 
had  been  murdered,  and  probably  eaten :  this  was  said  to  have  occurred 
near  Muthuata,  on  the  north  side  of  Vanua-levu.  It  appeared  that  Mr. 
Winn,  with  only  four  or  five  men,  had  been  trading  in  this  small  boat, 
for  vessel  she  could  not  be  called,  around  the  group  ;  they  had  with 
them  a  small  skiff"  or  punt,  capable  of  holding  only  one  man.  In  this 
one  of  the  crew  had  been  sent  on  shore,  for  the  purpose  of  ascertain- 
ing whether  the  natives  had  any  thing  to  dispose  of  On  his  landing, 
he  was  led  up  from  the  beach,  and  never  returned.  This  incident 
claimed  our  attention  afterwards,  and  our  proceedings  in  relation  to  it 
will  be  spoken  of  in  their  proper  place. 

On  the  morning  of  the  9th,  the  weather  proved  fine,  and  at  half-past 
seven  wo  all  went  on  shore  with  our  instruments.  Orders  were  left 
with  the  ship  to  fire  guns,  on  a  signal  being  given  from  the  top  of  Andu- 
long.  I  put  up  both  of  the  barometers,  and  made  several  comparisons, 
and  then  left  one  under  charge  of  an  officer  to  make  half-hourly  obser- 
vations. We  set  off"  for  the  peak  of  Andulong,  apparently  but  a  short 
hour's  walk.  Our  party  consisted  of  about  twenty-five  officers  and  the 
naturalists,  all  intent  upon  their  different  branches  of  duty.  Being 
entirely  unused  to  so  fatiguing  a  climb,  some  gave  out,  and  were  obliged 
to  return  ;  the  strongest  of  us  found  no  little  exertion  necessary  to  over- 
come the  difficulties  which  beset  our  path :  every  now  and  then  a  per- 
pendicular rise  of  fifteen  or  twenty  feet  was  to  be  ascended,  then  a 
narrow  ridge  to  be  crossed,  and  again  a  descent  into  a  deep  ravine ; 
the  whole  was  clothed  with  vines  at  intervals,  and  the  walking  was 
very  precarious,  from  the  numbers  of  roots  and  slippery  mud  we  encoun- 
tered ;  water  continually  bubbled  across  our  path  from  numerous  rills 
that  were  hurrying  headlong  down  the  ravines.  The  last  part  of  the 
ascent  was  sharp  and  steep,  having  precipices  of  several  hundreds  of 
feet  on  each  side  of  us.  On  passing  up  the  path,  I  saw  our  native 
guides  each  pull  a  leaf  when  they  came  to  a  spot,  and  throw  it  down ; 
on  inquiry,  Whippy  told  me  it  was  the  place  where  a  man  had  been 
clubbed :  this  was  considered  as  an  offering  of  respect  to  him,  and,  if 
not  performed,  they  have  a  notion  they  will  soon  be  killed  themselves. 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  51 

Judging  from  the  number  of  places  in  which  these  atonements  were 
made,  many  victims  have  suffered  in  this  way.  The  path  we  followed 
over  the  mountain  was  the  high-road  to  the  interior  towns,  and  the 
inhabitants  of  these  mountains  have  the  character  among  the  cannibal 
population  of  the  coast,  of  being  very  savage !  Just  before  noon,  we 
reached  the  top  of  Andulong,  and  succeeded  in  getting  the  meridian 
altitude.  The  scene  that  now  presented  itself  was  truly  beautiful ;  the 
picturesque  valleys  of  the  island  of  Ovolau  lay  in  full  view  beneath  us, 
exhibiting  here  and  there  spots  of  cultivated  ground,  with  groves  of 
cocoa-nuts  and  bread-fruit ;  the  towns  perched  upon  apparently  inacces- 
sible spots,  overlooking  their  small  domains ;  the  several  peaks  rising 
around,  all  cut  and  broken  in  the  most  grotesque  forms,  only  one  of 
which,  that  of  Dille-ovolau,  overtopped  the  one  on  which  we  were, 
being  about  two  hundred  feet  higher ;  around  us  in  the  distance,  we 
had  the  various  islands  of  the  group,  and  the  fantastic  needle-shaped 
peaks  of  Vanua-levu  were  distinctly  seen,  although  at  the  distance  of 
sixty  miles.  The  detached  reefs  could  be  traced  for  miles,  by  the  water 
breaking  on  them,  until  they  were  lost  in  the  haze.  The  squadron  lay 
quietly  beneath  us,  and  every  danger  that  could  in  any  way  affect  the 
safety  of  a  vessel  was  as  distinctly  marked  as  though  it  had  been 
already  put  upon  our  charts.  Each  ofScer  was  now  directed  to  observe 
a  series  of  angles  between  all  the  points,  peaks,  and  islands,  and  to 
enter  the  names  of  them :  these  were  obtained  through  the  interpreters. 
The  barometer  was  set  up,  and  observations  made.  The  signal  was 
now  given,  upon  which  guiis  were  fired  from  the  vessel,  while  we  noted 
the  time  that  elapsed  between  seeing  the  flash  and  hearing  the  sound. 
The  angles  of  depression  were  also  taken  of  all  objects.  The  results 
of  these  different  methods  gave  the  altitude  of  Andulong  two  thousand 
and  seventy  feet. 

We  remained  on  the  summit  until  near  sunset,  and  obtained  much 
knowledge  relative  to  the  situation  of  all  the  islands  and  reefs  that 
lay  around  us,  which  I  found  of  much  service  in  the  progress  of  our 

During  our  stay  on  Andulong,  a  native  came  up,  who  appeared  to 
be  under  the  influence  of  great  fear ;  he  reported  that  one  of  the  officers 
had  fallen  down,  and  that  something  was  the  matter  with  him.  On 
being  asked  why  he  left  him,  he  told  us  that  the  chief  had  said  G — d 
d — n,  and  that  he  was  afraid  that  he  would  kill  him.  Lieutenant  Em- 
mons went  down  with  him,  and  after  a  short  descent,  he  found  Mr. 
Eld  lying  quite  exhausted  near  the  path,  and  it  was  with  difficulty  he 
was  enabled  to  reach  the  town. 

The  descent  proved  more  toilsome  and  dangerous  than  the  ascent ; 

52  OVOLAU. 

the  slipperiness  of  the  path  frequently  brought  us  in  contact  with  sharp 
rocks.  I  have  seldom  witnessed  a  party  so  helpless  as  ours  appeared, 
in  comparison  with  the  natives  and  white  residents,  who  ran  over  the 
rocks  like  goats.  Darkness  overtook  us  before  we  reached  the  town ; 
many  of  the  natives,  however,  brought  torches  of  dried  cocoanut-leaves 
to  light  us  on  our  way,  and  we  reached  our  respective  ships  without 
accident,  though  much  fatigued.  Many  new  specimens  were  added  to 
our  collections,  and  I  believe  all  felt  gratified  in  having  had  an  oppor- 
tunity of  viewing  from  so  elevated  a  point  this  labyrinth  of  islands, 
reefs,  and  sunken  shoals. 

The  island  of  Ovolau  is  eight  miles  in  length,  north  and  south,  by 
seven  in  breadth,  east  and  west ;  it  is  of  volcanic  formation,  and  its 
rocks  are  composed  of  a  conglomerate  or  pudding-stone  ;  it  is  high  and 
rugged  throughout.  The  valleys  extend  only  a  short  distance  into  the 
interior,  and  leave  but  little  level  ground  ;  they  are,  however,  exceed- 
ingly fertile,  with  a  deep  and  rich  soil,  and  are  well  cultivated.  Its 
harbours  are  all  formed  by  the  reefs,  and  were  it  not  for  these,  there 
would  be  but  few  in  the  group ;  that  of  Levuka  is  safe,  has  good  hold- 
ing-ground, and  is  easy  of  access. 

On  the  10th,  the  Flying-Fish  was  still  missing. 

Feeling  satisfied  that  Ovolau  was  the  most  suitable  place  for  my  pur- 
pose, I  selected  a  site  for  my  observatory  on  a  projecting  insulated 
point,  about  thirty  feet  above  the  beach,  on  which  was  sufficient  room 
to  accommodate  our  tents  and  houses.  I  also  obtained  a  few  acres  of 
ground  from  the  chief,  for  the  purpose  of  planting  a  garden,  which  was 
well  fenced  in,  and  placed  under  the  direction  of  our  horticulturist,  Mr. 

On  the  11th,  the  instruments,  tents,  &c.,  were  landed  and  put  up. 
The  surprise  of  the  natives  was  extremely  great  to  find  a  village  or 
town  as  they  called  it,  erected  in  a  few  hours,  and  every  thing  in 
order :  the  guards  on  post  to  prevent  all  intrusion  most  excited  their 

All  the  necessary  arrangements  having  been  made,  the  launch  and 
first  cutter  of  the  Vincennes,  under  Lieutenants  Alden,  Knox,  Mid- 
shipman Henry,  and  Assistant-Surgeon  Whittle,  were  despatched  to 
survey  the  north  shore  of  Viti-levu ;  the  launch  and  first  cutter  of  the 
Peacock,  under  Lieutenant  Emmons,  Passed  Midshipman  Blunt,  and 
Mr.  Dyes,  to  examine  and  survey  the  south  shore,  visiting  Viwa, 
Ambau,  and  Rewa,  the  missionary  posts  :  Chaplain  Elliott  was  of  the 
latter  party,  that  he  might  be  enabled  to  gather  information  from  these 
establishments ;  pilots,  who  acted  as  interpreters,  were  sent  with  both. 
Orders,  of  which  the  following  is  an  extract,  were  issued  to  the  officers 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  53 

in  writing,  in  relation  to  the  natives,  pointing  out  to  them  the  necessity 
of  watchfulness. 

"  You  will  observe  the  following  instructions  very  particularly,  and 
in  no  case  depart  from  them,  unless  it  is  for  the  preservation  of  your 

"  1st.  You  will  avoid  landing  any  where  on  the  main  land  or 
islands,  unless  the  latter  should  be  uninhabited. 

"  2d.  Every  precaution  must  be  observed  in  treating  with  these 
natives,  and  no  native  must  be  suffered  to  come  alongside  or  near 
your  boats,  without  your  boarding-nettings  being  up ;  all  trading  must 
be  carried  on  over  the  stern  of  your  boat,  and  your  arms  and  howit- 
zers ready  to  repel  attack. 

"  3d.  You  will  avoid  any  disputes  with  them,  and  never  be  off  your 
guard,  or  free  from  suspicion ;  they  are  in  no  case  to  be  trusted. 

"  4th.  Your  two  boats  must  never  be  separated  at  night,  but  an- 
chored as  close  together  as  possible. 

"  You  will  always  keep  the  boats  within  signal  distance  of  each 
other,  separating  them  in  cases  of  extreme  necessity  only  for  a  short 

These  and  other  instructions  will  be  found  in  Appendix  III. 

The  Flying-Fish  now  made  her  appearance,  to  my  great  relief. 
Her  delays  had  been  owing  to  her  having  run  (on  the  8th,  the  night 
after  she  parted  company  with  us),  through  carelessness,  on  the  reef 
off  the  island  of  Nairai,  in  fine  moonlight,  with  the  reef  full  in  view ; 
here  she  remained  some  hours,  having  had  a  narrow  escape  from  total 
wreck ;  she,  however,  only  lost  a  part  of  her  false  keel.  Lieutenant 
Carr,  the  first-lieutenant  of  the  Vincennes,  was  immediately  put  in 
command  of  her.  The  Peacock  and  Flying-Fish  were  now  ordered 
to  prepare  for  sea  with  all  despatch. 

I  must  confess  I  felt  great  anxiety  for  the  safety  of  our  parties  in 
the  boats,  and  issued  the  foregoing  orders  very  particularly,  in  order 
to  avoid  all  misapprehension,  and  to  leave  as  little  as  possible  to  the 
discretion  of  the  officers  who  had  charge  of  the  boats.  They  were  all 
well  armed,  and  the  boats  were  provided  with  boarding-nettings ;  for 
I  felt  satisfied  that  any  inattention  or  want  of  care  would  inevitably 
lead  to  the  destruction,  if  not  of  the  whole,  at  least  some  of  the  party . 
the  accident  that  had  recently  occurred  to  the  tender  of  the  Leonidas, 
showed  that  the  least  degree  of  confidence  reposed  in  the  natives  was 
attended  with  great  risk,  and  that  so  treacherous  a  people  were  not  to 
be  trusted  under  any  circumstances.  A  departure  from  these  instruc- 
tions, and  an  undue  confidence,  resulting  from  having  for  a  long  time 
escaped  the  many  dangers  encountered,  was,  I  regret  to  say,  the  cause 



O  V  O  L  A  U. 

of  the  loss  we  met  with  before  leavuig  this  group,  and  taught,  when 
too  late,  the  necessity  of  obeying  strictly  the  orders  of  their  com- 
manding officer,  whether  absent  or  present. 

On  the  12th,  whilst  engaged  at  the  observatory,  the  canoe  of  Tanoa, 
the  King  of  Ambau,  was  discovered  rounding  the  southern  point  of 
the  island  :  it  had  a  magnificent  appearance,  with  its  immense  sail  of 
white  mats  ;  the  pennants  streaming  from  its  yard,  denoted  it  at  once 
as  belonging  to  some  great  chief  It  was  a  fit  accompaniment  to  the 
magnificent  scenery  around,  and  advanced  rapidly  and  gracefully 
along ;  it  was  a  single  canoe,  one  hundred  feet  in  length,  with  an  out- 
rigger of  large  size,  ornamented  with  a  great  number  (two  thousand 
five  hundred)  of  the  Cyprsea  ovula  shells ;  its  velocity  was  almost 
inconceivable,  and  every  one  was  struck  with  the  adroitness  with 
which  it  was  managed  and  landed  on  the  beach.* 

Tanoa  disembarked,  accompanied  by  his  attendants,  who  are  gene- 
rally Tonga  men,  forty  of  whom  had  the  direction  and  sailing  of  his 
canoe.  Shortly  after  landing,  he  was  met  by  Mr.  Vanderford,  who 
had  formerly  been  shipwrecked  here,  and  who  had  lived  under  his 

*  I  was  told  that  Tanoa  frequently  amuses  himself,  when  sailing,  by  running'  down  ca 
noes,  leaving  those  who  belong  to  them  to  recover  their  canoe  and  property  the  best  wai 
they  can. 

O  V  O  L  A  tJ.  55 

protection  for  ten  months.  The  meeting  was  a  curious  one :  the  old 
chief  walked  up  to  him,  and  stood  looking,  first  on  one  side  and  then 
on  the  other,  without  noticing  him,  and  pretending  that  he  did  not 
see  him ;  Mr.  Vanderford  then  walked  up  to  him,  clapped  him  on 
the  back,  and  called  him  by  name,  when  they  both  began  laughing 
heartily.  Mr.  Vanderford  spoke  much  of  the  kindness  of  Tanoa  to 
him  during  his  residence  among  the  people  of  Ambau :  it  is  true,  that 
he  robbed  him  of  every  thing  but  his  skin,  but  then  he  protected  him 
from  the  attacks  of  others.  Shortly  afterwards  a  large  double  canoe 
arrived,  entirely  manned  by  Tonga  people,  under  their  two  chiefs, 
Lajika  and  Tubou  Total,  who  were  both  of  them,  with  about  five 
hundred  of  their  followers,  paying  Tanoa  a  visit  at  Ambau;  they  were 
the  sons  of  Tubou  Ninha,  and  nephews  of  the  celebrated  Finau. 
Tubou  Total  told  me  that  he  and  his  brothers  had  been  residing  seve- 
ral years  in  the  Feejees ;  that  they  were  employed  building  canoes  on 
some  of  the  eastern  islands,  and  that  it  generally  took  them  seven 
years  from  the  time  they  left  Tonga,  to  finish  them  and  return. 

Tanoa  took  up  his  abode  in  the  mbure,  or  council-house,  which  is 
the  place  where  all  strangers  are  entertained.  Here  he  seated  himself, 
with  his  principal  attendants  about  him,  when  his  orator,  or  prime 
minister,  made  a  complimentary  oration,  at  the  end  of  which  a  clap- 
ping of  hands  took  place ;  to  this  oration  one  of  the  principal  towns- 
people replied.  This  is  the  usual  mode  of  conducting  the  ceremony : 
the  guest,  the  moment  he  arrives,  gives  a  condensed  account  of  all  his 
doings  since  they  last  saw  each  other,  ending  with  many  compliments; 
to  which  the  host  replies  in  equally  flattering  terms,  wishing  him  all 
kinds  of  happiness  and  prosperity.  This  ceremony  being  over,  Tanoa 
despatched  David  Whippy  on  board  to  inform  me  of  his  arrival,  when 
I  immediately  sent  Lieutenant  Carr  to  call  upon  him  and  inform  him 
that  my  boat  would  be  at  the  shore  in  the  morning  for  him.  Food 
was  then  brought  by  the  Levukians,  according  to  their  native  custom : 
it  consisted  of  two  large  baskets  containing  each  a  roasted  pig,  yams, 
taro,  bread-fruit,  &c.,  which  were  placed  before  the  company;  this 
present  was  accompanied  by  another  speech,  to  which  the  prime 
minister  again  replied ;  then  came  clapping  of  hands,  and  the  feast 
ended  with  ava  drinking. 

On  the  following  morning,  when  the  boat  landed,  the  three  chiefs 
were  waiting  on  the  beach,  and  all  came  on  board,  the  large  canoe 
following  the  boat;  every  thing  was  prepared  to  give  them  a  most 
marked  reception,  excepting  the  salute.  Tanoa  was  the  first  to  mount 
the  side  of  the  ship,  where  I  was  ready  to  receive  him,  with  the  officers 
at  the  gangway.     When  he  reached  the  deck,  he  was  evidently  much 

50  O  V  O  L  A  U. 

astonished,  particularly  when  he  saw  the  marines,  with  their  muskets, 
presenting  arms,  and  so  many  officers.  The  novel  sight,  to  him,  of 
my  large  Newfoundland  dog,  Sydney,  who  did  not  altogether  like  the 
sable  appearance  of  his  majesty,  the  noise  of  the  drum  and  boatswain's 
pipe,  combined  to  cause  him  some  alarm,  and  he  evinced  a  disposition 
to  retire,  keeping  himself  close  to  the  ship's  side.  He  was,  after  the 
fashion  of  his  group,  almost  naked,  having  a  small  maro  passed  around 
his  loins,  with  long  ends  to  it,  and  a  large  turban  of  tapa  cloth  in  folds 
about  his  head,  so  as  almost  to  hide  the  expression  of  his  countenance; 
his  face  was  bedaubed  with  oil  and  ivory-black,  as  were  also  his  long 
beard  and  mustaches,  the  natural  hue  of  which  I  understood  was  quite 
gray.  From  his  begrimed  look  he  has  obtained  the  sobriquet  of  "  Old 
Snuff,"  among  the  whites;  he  is  about  sixty-five  years  old,  tall,  slender, 
and  rather  bent  by  age ;  on  his  breast,  hanging  from  his  neck,  he  wore 
an  ornament  made  of  mother-of-pearl,  tortoise-shell,  and  ivory,  not 
very  neatly  put  together,  and  as  large  as  a  dinner-plate,  (called  diva 
ndina) ;  on  his  arms  he  had  shell  armlets,  (called  ygato,)  made  of  the 
trochus-shell  by  grinding  them  down  to  the  form  of  rings ;  his  counte- 
nance was  indicative  of  intelligence  and  shrewdness,  as  far  as  it  could 
be  seen;  his  mind  is  said  to  be  quite  active;  he  is  about  five  feet  ten 
inches  in  height,  and  of  small  frame ;  his  features  are  rather  inclined 
to  the  European  mould,  and  not  the  least  allied  to  the  negro ;  his  hair 
is  crispy ;  he  speaks  through  his  nose,  or  rather  as  if  he  had  lost  his 
palate;  his  body  is,  like  that  of  all  his  people,  remarkably  hairy.  After 
presenting  him  to  the  officers,  and  receiving  the  rest  of  his  suite,  I  led 
him  to  the  after  part  of  the  deck,  where  mats  were  laid  down,  and  wo 
all  seated  ourselves  to  hold  a  council ;  for  I  was  anxious  to  finish  first 
the  business  for  which  I  had  particularly  sought  the  interview ;  this 
was  to  procure  the  adoption  of  rules  and  regulations  for  the  intercourse 
with  foreign  vessels,  similar  to  those  established  in  the  Samoan  Group 
the  year  preceding.  David  Whippy  became  my  interpreter,  but  Tanoa 
had  too  much  dignity  about  him  to  receive  the  interpretation  through 
Whippy  alone,  although  he  understood  all  that  he  said  perfectly,  for 
Whippy  speaks  their  language  well ;  but  he  had  his  "  speech-explain- 
ing counsellor,"  Malani-vanua  Vakanduna,  or  prime  minister,  who 
was  a  remarkably  good-looking,  intelligent  man.  Whippy  gave  his 
name  as  Korotumvavalu,  and  said  that  he  had  great  influence  with  the 
king.  It  was  amusing  to  see  their  mode  of  conducting  the  business, 
and  to  understand  that  Tanoa's  dignity  would  be  offended  by  holding 
discourse  with  our  friend  Whippy  as  interpreter ;  not,  however,  (as  it 
was  explained  to  me  by  Tubou  Total,)  from  any  objection  he  had  to 
Whippy,  but  it  would  be  derogatory  to  his  rank  and  station. 


w  ^■ 


/     \ 



O  V  O  L  A  U.  57 

On  the  production  of  the  rules  and  regulations,  Tanoa  seemed  rather 
confused,  and  at  first  appeared  dull  and  stupid;  this  I  imputed  to  his 
ava  drinking,  in  which  they  had  all  indulged  to  excess  the  night 
before.  He  did  not  seem  to  comprehend  the  object  of  them,  or  as  the 
interpreter  expressed  it,  "  could  not  take  the  idea."  This  is  not  to  be 
wondered  at,  when  it  is  considered  that  this  was  the  first  act  of  the 
kind  he  had  been  called  upon  to  do.  Tubou  Total  being  a  traveller 
of  some  note,  readily  understood  their  meaning,  and  through  his  ex- 
planations Tanoa  soon  comprehended  the  object,  and  listened  with 
attention  (his  whole  suite  sitting  around),  to  the  reading  of  them, 
sentence  by  sentence ;  after  which  he  made  signs  of  understanding 
them,  and  gave  his  approval  and  consent  to  having  them  established, 
and  the  next  day  signed  them,  by  making  his  mark.  (See  Appendix 
V.)  That  which  he  was  to  keep  I  had  rolled  up  and  put  into  a  bright 
round  tin  case,  which  he  seemed  to  regard  with  great  pride. 

Although  I  did  not  anticipate  much  immediate  good  from  these 
regulations,  yet  I  was  well  satisfied  they  would  be  of  use  in  restraining 
the  natives  as  well  as  masters  of  ships,  and  in  securing  a  better  under- 
standing between  them ;  at  any  rate  it  was  a  beginning,  and  would 
make  them  feel  we  were  desirous  of  doing  them  justice.  I  talked  to 
him  much,  through  the  interpreter,  of  the  necessity  of  protecting  the 
whites,  and  of  punishing  those  who  molest  and  take  from  them  their 
goods  in  case  of  shipwreck.  He  listened  to  me  very  patiently,  and  said, 
"  he  had  always  done  so  ;  that  my  advice  was  very  good,  but  he  did 
not  need  it ;  that  I  must  give  plenty  of  it  to  his  son  Seru,  and  talk  hard 
to  him ;  that  he  would  in  a  short  time  be  king,  and  needed  it." 

We  now  proceeded  to  show  them  the  ship.  Tanoa  expressed  great 
astonishment  at  the  wheel,  and  the  manner  of  steering  our  large  canoe 
or  man-of-war.  I  told  him  I  was  going  to  order  some  guns  to  be  fired 
with  balls,  when  he  immediately  expressed  his  joy  at  it,  saying  that 
he  thought  I  was  oflfended  with  him,  from  my  not  firing  when  he 
came  on  board.  On  my  telling  him  it  was  not  so,  but  that  he  must 
consider  it  more  honourable  to  him  to  fire  balls,  he  was  well  satisfied. 
It  was  amusing  to  see  the  curiosity  excited  among  them  all,  when 
they  understood  the  large  guns  were  to  be  fired.  On  the  firing  taking 
place,  they  all  made  an  exclamation  of  surprise  and  astonishment — ■ 



followed  with  a  cluck  of  the  tongue  in  a  high  key,  putting  their  fingers 

VOL.  III.  8 

58  O  V  O  L  A  U. 

to  the  mouth,  and  patting  it  after  the  fashion  of  children,  or  one  of 
our  own  Indians  in  giving  the  war-whoop.  Tanoa  would  not  at  first 
look  at  the  ball  flying  along  and  throwing  up  the  water.  When  the 
second  was  fired,  he  uttered  the  same  marks  of  surprise  as  the  rest ; 
and  after  the  third,  he  begged  that  no  more  should  be  fired,  as  he  was 
amply  satisfied  with  the  honour,  and  the  noise  almost  distracted  him. 
As  they  went  about  the  ship,  when  they  saw  any  thing  that  pleased 
them,  they  would  say — 

m — 9 — 




na  -  ka        Vi         na-ka. 

In  expressing  their  satisfaction  for  many  things,  they  repeat  the  words 
vi  naka  several  times  very  quickly. 

Suitable  presents  were  now  distributed  to  Tanoa  and  suite,  consist- 
ing of  shawls,  axes,  accordions,  plane-irons,  whales'  teeth,  and  a  variety. 
of  other  articles,  among  which  was  a  box  of  Windsor  soap,  tobacco, 
a  musket,  watch,  &c.  These  were  received  with  clapping  of  hands, 
their  mode  of  returning  thanks.  It  was  my  intention  to  have  had  the 
feast  of  rice-bread  and  molasses  on  board,  but  I  found  their  numbers 
so  great  that  I  determined  on  sending  it  on  shore,  and  only  treated 
them  to  some  w^eak  w^hiskey  and  water  in  lieu  of  ava,  with  which  they 
were  much  pleased.  The  marines  were  put  through  their  exercises, 
marched  and  countermarched  to  the  music  of  the  drum  and  fife,  which 
delighted  them  extremely.  After  being  three  hours  on  board,  hearing 
that  the  provisions  for  the  feast  had  been  sent  on  shore,  they  desired  to 
depart,  and  were  again  landed.  The  Tongese  sang  their  boat-song  as 
they  sculled  his  canoe ;  but  this  custom,  according  to  Whippy,  is  not 
practised  by  the  Feejees. 

I  have  scarcely  seen  a  finer-looking  set  of  men  than  composed  the 
suite  of  Tanoa.  There  was  a  great  contrast  between  the  Tongese  and 
Feejees ;  the  former  being  light  mulattoes,  while  the  latter  were  quite 
black :  their  whole  make  seemed  to  point  out  a  different  origin.  The 
Tongese  have  small  joints,  and  well-developed  and  rounded  muscles, 
while  the  Feejees'  limbs  are  large  and  muscular;  the  latter  are  slender 
in  body,  and  apparently  inured  to  hard  fare  and  Kving.  The  difference 
in  manner  was  equally  great:  in  the  Tongese  there  was  a  native 
grace,  combined  with  fine  forms,  and  an  expression  and  carriage  as  if 
educated ;  whilst  there  was  an  air  of  power  and  independence  in  the 
Feejees,  that  made  them  claim  attention.  They  at  once  strike  one  as 
peculiar,  and  unlike  the  Polynesian  natives,  having  a  great  deal  of 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  59 

activity  both  of  mind  and  body ;  this  may  be  owing,  in  a  great  measure, 
to  their  constant  wars,  and  the  necessity  of  their  being  continually  on 
the  alert,  to  prevent  surprise.  It  was  pleasant  to  look  upon  the  Ton- 
gese,  but  I  felt  more  interest  in  the  Feejees ;  the  contrast  was  some- 
what like  that  observable  between  a  well-bred  gentleman  and  a  boor. 

After  the  king  got  on  shore,  they  had  much  talk  at  the  mbure-house, 
upon  all  they  had  seen,  and  among  other  things,  he  remarked,  "  that 
my  men  might  be  good  warriors,  but  they  walked  very  much  like 
Muscovy  ducks,"  a  bird  of  which  they  have  numbers. 

Tanoa  sent  me  word  he  would  like  to  come  and  see  things  without 
ceremony,  to  which  I  readily  consented.  The  next  day  he  came  on 
board,  as  he  said,  to  look  and  see  for  himself;  he  stayed  some  hours. 
When  he  entered  the  cabin,  I  was  pouring  out  some  mercury  for  my 
artificial  horizon,  of  which  I  gave  him  several  globules  in  his  hand. 
He  complained  of  their  being  hot,  and  amused  himself  for  a  long  time 
in  trying  to  pinch  them  up,  which  of  course  he  found  it  impossible  to 
do,  and  showed  some  vexation  on  being  foiled,  nipping  his  fingers 
together  with  great  vehemence  to  catch  the  metal.  His  actions 
resembled  those  of  a  monkey ;  he  kept  looking  at  his  fingers,  and 
seemed  astonished  that  they  were  not  wet,  and  could  not  be  made  to 
understand  how  it  could  wet  a  button,  (which  I  silvered  for  him,)  and 
not  his  fingers.  He  talked  a  great  deal  of  the  regulations  he  had 
signed.  I  was  desirous  of  knowing  whether  he  fully  understood  them, 
which  I  found  he  did.  I  then  asked  him  if  it  would  not  be  better  for 
his  son  Seru  to  sign  them  also,  as  he  is  understood  to  be  the  acting 
^hief ;  he  said  "  no,"  that  his  signing  was  quite  sufficient,  and  made 
them  binding  on  all  the  dependencies  of  Ambau.  He  desired  me,  when 
his  son  Seru  paid  me  a  visit,  to  talk  hard  to  him,  and  give  him  plenty 
of  good  advice,  for  he  was  a  young  man,  and  frisky;  but  he  himself 
was  old,  and  saw  things  that  were  good  and  bad.  He  said  Seru  would 
visit  me  in  a  few  days,  when  he  returned,  as  they  could  not  both  leave 
Ambau  at  the  same  time. 

The  observatory  duties  were  now  commenced,  and  Lieutenant  Perry 
and  Mr.  Eld  were  ordered  to  assist  me.  I  had,  while  thus  employed, 
ample  time  to  get  information  from  David  Whippy,  who  seemed  not 
only  to  have  acquired  the  language  perfectly,  but  also  a  good  know- 
ledge of  the  customs,  manners,  and  habits  of  the  natives. 

Ovolau  is  divided  into  four  districts,  viz.,  Levuka  on  the  east, 
Fokambou  on  the  southwest,  Barita  on  the  southeast,  and  Vaki 
Levuka  on  the  northwest ;  besides  these,  there  is  the  interior  or  moun- 
tainous region,  called  by  the  natives  Livoni.  Levuka  is  mhati  to  the 
chiefs  of  Ambau;  Fokambou  and  Barita  are  ygali  to  the  same  power, 

GO  O  V  O  L  A  U. 

but  Vaki  Levuka  is  ygali  to  Levuka,  whilst  the  mountainous  regions 
are  independent  and  predatory.  The  term  mbati  signifies  allies,  or 
being  under  protection,  though  not  actually  subject  to  it.  Ygali  ex- 
presses that  they  are  subjects,  and  compelled  to  pay  tribute  yearly,  or 
obliged  to  satisfy  the  demands  of  the  chiefs,  whenever  made  upon 

Tui  Levuka  is  the  principal  chief  of  Ovolau ;  his  authority  extends 
over  eight  towns  on  the  east  side.  He  is  very  friendly  to  the  whites, 
and  is  represented  by  them  to  be  a  kind-hearted  and  honest  chief:  he 
is  between  forty  and  fifty  years  of  age,  and  has  a  pleasing  countenance; 
he  rules  his  village  with  great  popularity.  It  was  amusing  to  see  his 
bewilderment  in  attending  to  the  various  duties  and  offices  he  had  to 
perform,  in  providing  the  large  supplies  of  food,  consisting  of  yams, 
taro,  &c.,  that  were  required  for  our  use ;  he  was,  however,  very 
industrious,  and  by  the  aid  of  Whippy,  got  through  very  well,  though 
with  much  fear  and  trembling,  lest  he  should  be  held  accountable  for 
any  theft  or  depredations  committed  on  our  property,  or  accident  to 
our  men,  in  the  various  occupations  that  were  all  going  forward  at 
the  same  time,  consisting  of  watering,  wooding,  digging  gardens, 
making  enclosures,  building,  as  he  said,  towns,  holding  markets,  and 
trading  all  day  long  for  spears,  clubs,  shells,  &c. ;  he  had  great  fears, 
too,  of  exciting  the  jealousy  of  the  Ambau  chiefs,  who  he  judged  would 
not  like  to  see  the  advantages  he  was  reaping  from  our  lengthened 
stay,  which  would  naturally  enough  bring  their  displeasure  upon  him. 
I  found  him  of  great  use,  and  was  in  the  habit  of  receiving  from  him 
almost  daily,  visits  at  the  observatory,  so  that  when  Whippy  was  at  a 
loss  for  any  information  relative  to  the  islands,  Tui  Levuka  was  always 
at  hand  to  supply  it. 

The  rest  of  the  island  is  under  the  Ambau  chiefs,  or  as  they  express 
it,  ygali  to  Ambau,  excepting  the  mountaineers,  who  are  easily  brought 
over  to  fight  on  any  side,  and  are,  from  all  accounts,  true  savages. 
Tui  Levuka  has  never  been  properly  installed  into  office,  although 
from  his  courage  and  talent  as  a  leader,  he  is  highly  respected.  The 
circumstance  which  has  prevented  this  ceremony  from  taking  place 
was,  that  the  Ambau  chiefs  succeeded  by  stratagem  in  getting  posses- 
sion of  Ovolau  about  fifteen  years  ago,  or  in  1825,  before  which  time 
it  had  belonged  to  Verata,  with  which  Ambau  was  at  war.  The 
Verata  chiefs  had  been  always  in  the  habit  of  installing  the  chiefs,  but 
since  they  have  lost  Ovolau,  they  refuse  to  perform  the  rite,  and  the 
Ambau  chiefs  will  not  exercise  it,  on  account  of  religious  dread,  and 
the  fear  of  offending  their  gods. 

The  islands  of  Wakaia  and   Mokungai,  near  that  of  Ovolau,  are 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  61 

under  Tui  Levuka;  they  have  but  few  inhabitants.  Tui  Levuka's 
eldest  son  is  the  chief  of  Wakaia. 

The  town  of  Levuka  is  much  larger  than  one  would  imagine  on 
seeing  it  from  the  water.  Many  of  the  houses  are  situated  on  the  side 
of  the  hill.  Its  natural  position  is  pretty :  it  has  a  fine  brook  running 
through  it,  coming  from  the  gorge  in  the  mountain,  the  water  of  which 
is  made  great  use  of  for  irrigating  the  taro-patches,  which,  with  their 
yam-grounds,  claim  the  principal  attention  of  the  inhabitants:  the 
natives  constantly  bathe  in  it,  and  are  remarkably  cleanly  in  their 
persons ;  the  evident  pleasure  they  take  in  the  bath  is  even  shared  by 
those  who  see  them  sporting  in  the  water. 

The  Feejee  Group  is  composed  of  seven  districts,  and  is  under  as 
many  principal  chiefs,  viz. : 

1st.  Ambau.  5th.  Somu-somu. 

2d.  Rewa.  6th.  Naitasiri. 

3d.  Verata.  7th.  Mbua. 
4th.  Muthuata. 

All  the  minor  chiefs  on  the  different  islands  are  more  or  less  con- 
nected or  subject  to  one  of  these,  and  as  the  one  party  or  the  other 
prevails  in  their  wars,  they  change  masters.  War  is  the  constant 
occupation  of  the  natives,  and  engrosses  all  their  time  and  thoughts. 

Ambau  is  now  the  most  powerful  of  these  districts,  although  it  is  in 
itself  but  a  small  island  on  the  coast,  and  connected  with  Vitilevu ;  but 
it  is  the  residence  of  most  of  the  great  chiefs,  and,  as  I  have  before 
observed,  Tanoa,  the  most  powerful  chief  of  all  the  islands,  lives  there. 
The  original  inhabitants  of  Ambau  were  called  Kai  Levuka,  and  are 
of  Tonga  descent.  During  the  absence  of  most  of  the  natives  on  a 
trading  voyage  to  Lakemba,  the  natives  of  Moturiki,  a  neighbouring 
island,  made  a  descent  upon  Ambau,  and  took  possession  of  it,  ever 
since  which  the  Kai  Levuka  have  remained  a  broken  people :  they  still 
retain  their  original  name,  but  are  now  only  wandering  traders ;  they 
have  no  fixed  place  of  residence,  and  are  somewhat  of  the  character 
of  the  Jews.  They  reside  principally  at  Lakemba,  Somu-somu,  Vuna, 
and  occasionally  at  other  islands.  Most  of  the  exchange  trade  is  in 
their  hands ;  their  hereditary  chief  resides  at  Lakemba ;  they  are  much 
respected,  and  when  they  visit  Ambau,  they  are  treated  with  the  best 
of  every  thing,  in  acknowledgment  of  their  original  right  to  the  soil. 
At  Ambau  there  are  now  two  classes,  one  known  by  the  name  of  Kai 
Ambau,  or  original  people  of  Ambau,  and  the  other  as  Kai  Lasikau, 
who  were  introduced  from  a  small  island  near  Kantavu,  some  sixty 
years  since,  to  fish  for  the  chiefs ;  these  are  considered  as  inferior  to 


63  O  V  O  L  A  U. 

Kai  Ambau,  but  are  not  exactly  slaves.  About  eight  years  before  our 
arrival,  dissensions  arose  betwee"n  these  tM^o  classes,  which  resulted  in 
Tanoa's  being  expelled,  and  obliged  to  seek  refuge  in  another  part  of 
his  dominions. 

According  to  Whippy,  at  the  commencement  of  the  present  century, 
Bamivi  ruled  at  Ambau ;  he  vv^as  succeeded  by  his  son  UUvou.  At 
this  time  Verata  was  the  principal  city  of  the  Feejees,  and  its  chiefs 
held  the  rule:  this  city  or  town  is  about  eight  miles  from  Ambau, 
on  Vitilevu;  the  islands  of  Ovolau,  Goro,  Ambatiki,  Angau,  and  others 
were  subject  to  it,  as  was  also  Rewa.  The  introduction  of  fire-arms 
brought  about  a  great  change  of  power;  this  happened  in  the  year 
1809.  The  brig  Eliza  was  wrecked  on  the  reef  off  Nairai,  and  had 
both  guns  and  powder  on  board.  Nairai  was  at  this  time  a  dependency 
of  Ambau,  and  many  of  the  crew,  in  order  to  preserve  their  lives, 
showed  the  natives  the  use  of  (to  them)  the  new  instrument.  Among 
the  crew  was  a  Swede,  called  Charley  Savage,  who  acted  a  very 
conspicuous  part  in  the  group  for  some  few  years.  These  men  joined 
the  Ambau  people,  instructed  them  in  the  use  of  the  musket,  and 
assisted  them  in  their  wars.  The  chief  of  Ambau  was  at  that  time 
Ulivou,  who  gladly  availed  himself  of  their  services,  granting  them 
many  privileges ;  among  others,  it  is  said  that  Charley  Savage  had  a 
hundred  wives !  Taking  advantage  of  all  the  means  he  now  possessed 
to  extend  his  own  power  and  reduce  that  of  Verata,  he  finally  suc- 
ceeded, either  by  fighting  or  intrigue,  in  cutting  off  all  its  dependencies, 
leaving  the  chief  of  Verata  only  his  town  to  rule  over. 

In  the  early  part  of  Ulivou's  reign  a  conspiracy  broke  out  against 
him,  but  he  discovered  it,  and  was  able  to  expel  the  rebels  from 
Ambau.  They  fled  to  Rewa,  where  they  made  some  show  of  resis- 
tance ;  he  however  overcame  them.  They  then  took  refuge  on  Goro, 
where  he  again  sought  them,  pursued  them  to  Somu-somu,  and  drove 
them  thence.  Their  next  step  was  to  go  to  Lakemba,  in  order  to  col- 
lect a  large  fleet  of  canoes  and  riches,  for  the  purpose  of  gaining  allies 
on  Vitilevu  ;  but  they  were  again  pursued,  and  being  met  with  at  sea, 
were  completely  destroyed.  This  fully  established  Ulivou's  authority, 
and  the  latter  part  of  his  reign  was  unmarked  by  any  disturbances  or 
rebellion  against  his  rule.  He  died  in  1829.  Tanoa,  his  brother,  the 
present  king,  was  at  this  time  at  Lakemba,  on  one  of  the  eastern 
islands,  engaged,  according  to  Whippy,  in  building  a  large  canoe, 
which  he  named  Ndranuivio,  (the  Via-leaf,)  a  large  plant  of  the  arum 
species.  When  the  news  reached  him  he  immediately  embarked  for 
Ambau,  and  on  his  arrival  found  all  the  chiefs  disposed  to  make  him 
king.     It  is  said  that  he  at  first  refused  the  dignity,  lest  "they  should 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  63 

make  a  fool  of  him ;"  but  by  promises  and  persuasion  he  was  induced 
lo  accede.  Preparations  were  accordingly  made  to  install  him.  This 
ceremony  is  performed  by  the  Levuka  people,  the  original  inhabitants 
of  Amuau,  uniting  with  those  of  Kamba,  inhabiting  a  town  near 
Kamba  Point,  the  most  eastern  point  of  Vitilevu,  and  about  ten  miles 
east  of  Ambau.  As  soon  as  the  chiefs  of  Ambau  have  elected  a  king, 
the}'  make  a  grand  ava  party,  and  the  first  cup  is  handed  to  the  newly 
elected  chief,  who  receives  the  title  of  Vunivalu.  Some  time  after 
this,  the  Kamba  and  Levuka  people  are  called  in  to  make  the  installa- 
tion, and  confer  the  title  of  royalty.  It  is  related,  that  while  the 
preparations  for  this  ceremony  were  going  on,  the  chiefs  of  Ambau 
were  restless,  and  determined  to  make  war  upon  Rewa,  a  place 
always  in  rivalry,  about  fifteen  miles  distant  from  Ambau,  to  the  south. 
Tanoa,  however,  was  well  disposed  towards  the  people  of  this  district, 
being  a  Vasu  of  Rewa.  There  are  three  kinds  of  Vasus,  Vasu-togai, 
Vasu-levu,  and  Vasu.  The  first  is  the  highest  title,  and  is  derived 
from  the  mother  being  queen  of  Ambau.  Vasu-levu  is  where  the 
mother  is  married  to  one  of  the  great  chiefs  of  Rewa,  Somu-somu,  or 
Muthuata,  and  the  name  of  Vasu  extends  not  only  to  the  minor  chiefs, 
but  also  down  to  the  common  people.  It  confers  rights  and  privileges 
of  great  extent,  and  is  exclusively  derived  from  the  mother  being  a 
high  chief  or  wife  of  some  of  the  reigning  kings.  It  gives  the  person 
a  right  to  seize  upon  and  appropriate  to  his  own  use  any  thing  belong- 
ing to  an  inhabitant  of  his  mother's  native  place,  and  even  the  privilege 
of  taking  things  from  the  sovereign  himself,  and  this  without  resistance, 
dispute,  or  hesitation,  however  much  prized  or  valuable  the  article  may 
be.  In  the  course  of  this  narrative,  some  instances  of  the  exercise  of 
this  power  will  be  related.  Tanoa  therefore  used  all  his  efforts  to 
prevent  an  outbreak,  but  without  success,  and  he  was  compelled  to 
carry  on  the  war.  He,  however,  secretly  gave  encouragement,  and, 
it  is  said,  even  assistance,  to  the  opposite  party ;  this  becoming  known, 
produced  much  difficulty  and  discontent  among  the  Ambau  chiefs  and 
people.  Notwithstanding  this,  he  at  length  contrived  to  bring  about  a 
truce,  and  invited  many  of  the  Rewa  chiefs  and  people  to  visit  him, 
whom  he  received  with  great  distinction.  This  incensed  his  new  sub- 
jects very  much ;  and  on  his  presenting  to  the  late  enemy  his  new  and 
large  canoe,  Ndranuivio,  their  indignation  was  greatly  increased,  and 
caused  some  of  them  even  to  enter  into  a  plot  to  murder  him.  Among 
the  conspirators  were  the  head  chiefs,  Seru  Tanoa,  Komaivunindavu, 
Mara  and  Dandau,  of  Ambau,  Ngiondrakete,  chief  of  Nikelo,  and 
Masomalua,   of  Viwa.     Tanoa,   on   being   advised   of  this,  took   no 

(J4  O  V  O  L  A  U. 

means  to  frustrate  their  plans  openly,  but  appears  to  have  been  some 
what  on  his  guard. 

In  the  third  year  of  his  reign,  whilst  on  a  visit  to  Ovolau  to  attend 
to  his  plantation  of  yams,  the  rebellion  broke  out,  of  which  he  was 
soon  advised,  and  fled  to  Goro,  where  his  enemies  followed  him ;  but 
he  continued  his  flight  to  Somu-somu,  the  people  of  which  had  been 
always  his  friends  and  supporters.  Here  he  found  protection,  his 
defenders  being  too  numerous  for  his  enemies.  The  conspirators  tried, 
however,  to  urge  upon  them  the  propriety  of  giving  up  their  king, 
saying  that  they  only  desired  he  should  return  and  reign  over  them ; 
but  the  people  of  Somu-somu  deemed  this  too  shallow  a  pretence  to  be 
listened  to.  After  Tanoa's  expulsion,  the  rebels  installed  his  brother 
Komainokarinakula  as  king.  Tanoa  remained  under  the  protection 
of  the  chief  of  Somu-somu  for  three  years,  in  gratitude  for  which  he 
made  over  to  him  all  the  windward  islands,  viz. :  Lakemba,  Naiau, 
&c.  During  all  this  period,  Tanoa  was  carrying  on  a  sort  of  warfare 
against  the  rebels,  with  the  aid  of  the  natives  of  the  eastern  group  and 
those  of  Rewa,  who  remained  faithful  to  him,  encouraging  them  all  in 
his  power,  collecting  his  revenue  from  the  former,  which  he  distri- 
buted bountifully  among  his  adherents,  and  buying  over  others  to  his 

As  Tanoa  was  about  to  sail  for  Lakemba,  word  was  brought  to  him, 
that  his  nephew,  called  Nona,  residing  on  Naiau,  a  neighbouring  island, 
had  been  bribed  by  the  chiefs  to  put  him  to  death.  He  therefore,  on 
his  way,  stopped  at  Naiau,  and  when  his  nephew  approached  him 
under  the  guise  of  friendship,  Tanoa  at  once  caused  him,  with  all  his 
family  and  adherents,  to  be  seized  and  put  to  death. 

Tanoa,  finding  his  strength  increasing,  concluded  to  prosecute  the 
war  with  more  activity.  In  order  to  do  so,  after  having  first  collected 
all  his  means,  he  removed  to  Rewa,  M'here  he  established  himself,  and 
began  his  secret  intrigues  to  undermine  and  dissipate  his  enemies' 
forces.  He  was  so  successful  in  this,  that  in  a  short  time  he  had 
gained  over  all  their  allies,  as  well  as  the  towns  on  the  main  land  or 
large  island  in  the  vicinity,  and  even  many  of  the  chiefs  at  Ambau. 
The  latter  object  was  effected  through  the  influence  of  his  son,  Ratu 
Seru,  who  had  been  suffered  to  remain  there  during  the  whole  war, 
although  not  without  frequent  attempts  being  made  on  his  life,  which 
he  escaped  from  through  his  unceasing  vigilance  and  that  of  his  adhe- 
rents. During  the  latter  part  of  the  time,  he  was  constantly  in  com- 
munication with  his  father,  who  kept  him  well  supplied  with  the  articles 
in  which  the  riches  of  the  natives  consist :  these  were  liberally  distri- 

O  V  O  L  A  IT.  65 

bated  among  the  Lasikaus,  or  fishermen,  and  gained  the  most  of  this 
class  over  to  his  interests.  All  things  being  arranged,  on  a  certain 
day  the  signal  was  given,  and  most  of  the  allies  declared  for  Tanoa. 
Whilst  the  rebel  chiefs  were  in  consternation  at  this  unexpected  event, 
the  Lasikaus  rose  and  attacked  them.  A  severe  contest  ensued  ;  but 
it  is  said  the  fishermen,  having  built  a  wall  dividing  their  part  of  the 
town  from  that  of  the  Ambau  people,  set  fire  to  their  opponents'  quarter, 
and  reduced  it  to  ashes.  The  latter  fled  for  refuge  to  the  main  land, 
across  the  shallow  isthmus,  but  found  themselves  here  opposed  by  the 
king  with  his  army,  who  slaughtered  all  those  who  had  escaped  from 
Ambau.  This  done,  Tanoa  entered  Ambau  in  triumph,  and  receiving 
the  submission  of  all  the  neighbouring  towns,  resumed  the  government, 
after  an  absence  of  five  years.  This  recovery  of  his  kingdom  took 
place  in  1837.  Being  thus  re-established,  Tanoa,  in  order  effectually 
to  destroy  his  enemies,  sent  messages  to  the  diflferent  towns,  with  pre- 
sents, to  induce  the  inhabitants  of  the  places  whither  the  rebels  had  fled 
to  put  them  to  death.  In  this  he  soon  succeeded,  and  their  former 
friends  were  thus  made  the  instruments  of  their  punishment.  Tanoa 
having  succeeded  in  establishing  his  rule,  put  a  stop  to  all  further 
slaughter ;  but  all  the  principal  chiefs  who  had  opposed  him,  except 
Masomalua,  ofViwa,  had  been  slain.  Tanoa's  authority  was  now  ac- 
knowledged in  all  his  former  dominions  ;  but  this  has  not  put  an  end  to 
the  petty  wars.  The  three  chief  cities,  Ambau,  Rewa,  and  Naitasiri, 
are  frequently  at  war,  notwithstanding  they  are  all  three  closely  con- 
nected by  alliances  with  each  other.  Here,  in  fact,  is  the  great  seat  of 
power  in  the  group,  though  it  varies  occasionally.  These  three  places 
form,  as  it  were,  a  triangle,  the  two  former  being  on  the  north  and 
south  coasts,  while  that  of  Naitasiri  is  situated  inland,  on  the  Wailevu, 
or  Peale's  river.  These  disturbances  most  frequently  occur  between 
Ambau  and  Rewa.  Tanoa  takes  no  part  in  these  contests,  but  when 
he  thinks  the  belligerents  have  fought  long  enough,  he  sends  the  Rewa 
people  word  to  "  come  and  beg  pardon,"  after  the  Feejee  custom, 
which  they  invariably  do,  even  though  they  may  have  been  victorious. 
Mr.  Brackenridge,  our  horticulturist,  was  soon  busily  engaged  in 
preparing  the  garden  for  our  seeds.  I  had  been  anxious  that  this 
should  be  done  as  soon  as  possible,  in  order  that  we  might  have  a 
chance  of  seeing  it  in  a  prosperous  state  before  we  left  the  island ;  and 
I  feel  much  indebted  to  him  for  the  zeal  he  manifested.  About  twenty 
natives  were  employed  in  putting  up  the  fence,  the  chief  having  agreed 
with  each  of  them  to  make  two  fathoms  of  it.  Some  were  employed 
in  clearing  away  the  weeds,  and  others  in  bringing  reeds  and  stakes 
down  from  the  mountains.     Mr.  Brackenridge  marked  out  the  line  for 

VOL.  III.  P2  9 

66  O  V  O  L  A  U. 

the  fence,  but  they  could  not  be  induced  to  follow  it,  or  observe  any 
regularity,  each  individual  making  his  allotted  part  according  to  his 
own  fancy ;  these  separate  portions  were  afterwards  joined  together, 
forming  a  zigzag  work.  The  parts  of  the  enclosure  were  tied  together 
by  a  species  of  Dolichos,  crossed,  braced,  and  wattled  like  basket- 
work,  the  whole  making  a  tight  fence,  which  answered  the  purpose 
well  enough. 

The  digging  of  the  ground  was  performed  with  a  long  pointed  pole, 
which  they  thrust  into  the  ground  with  both  hands,  and  by  swinging 
on  the  upper  end,  they  contrived  to  raise  up  large  pieces  of  the  soil, 
which  was  quite  hard.  After  this,  two  sailors  with  spades  smoothed 
it.  The  centre  of  the  garden  had  been  a  repository  for  their  dead, 
where  many  stones  had  once  been  placed,  which  had  become  scat- 
tered. These  the  natives  were  told  to  throw  in  a  pile  in  the  centre. 
They  went  on  digging  for  some  time,  probably  without  an  idea  that 
any  one  had  been  buried  there,  but  as  they  approached  the  pile  they 
simultaneously  came  to  a  stop,  and  began  to  murmur  among  them- 
selves, using  the  words  mate  mate.  No  inducement  could  persuade 
them  to  proceed,  until  it  was  explained  to  them  by  David  Whippy, 
that  there  was  no  desire  to  dig  in  the  direction  of  the  grave,  which 
was  to  be  left  sacred.  With  this  intimation  they  seemed  well  satis- 
fied, and  went  on  digging  merrily.  A  large  quantity  of  seeds,  of 
various  kinds  of  vegetables  and  fruits,  were  planted.  For  the  fencing 
and  digging  of  the  garden  I  gave,  by  agreement,  a  trade  musket,  and 
I  believe  this  included  the  purchase  of  the  ground  ! 

The  day  after  Tanoa's  visit,  I  received  from  him  a  royal  present  of 
ten  hogs,  a  quantity  of  yams,  taro,  fruit,  &c. 

Our  stay  at  Ovolau  continued  for  six  vi'eeks.  Among  the  incidents 
which  occurred  during  this  time  were  the  following. 

On  the  17th  May,  David  Bateman  died.  He  had  been  a  marine  on 
board  the  Porpoise,  and  had  been  transferred  to  the  Vincennes  at 
Tonga.  A  post  mortem  examination  showed  that  the  right  lung  was 
almost  wholly  destroyed  by  disease,  and  there  was  about  a  pint  of 
purulent  matter  in  the  pleura. 

On  the  19th,  Seru,  the  son  of  Tanoa,  arrived  from  Ambau,  for  the 
purpose  of  visiting  me.  I  immediately  sent  him  and  his  suite  an 
invitation  to  meet  me  at  the  observatory  on  the  following  day,  with 
which  he  complied.  Seru  is  extremely  good-looking,  being  tall,  well 
made,  and  athletic.  He  exhibits  much  intelligence  both  in  his  expres- 
sion of  countenance  and  manners.  His  features  and  figure  resemble 
those  of  a  European,  and  he  is  graceful  and  easy  in  his  carriage. 
The  instruments  at  the  observatory  excited  his  wonder  and  curiosity 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  67 

He,  in  common  with  the  other  natives,  beheved  that  they  were  in- 
tended for  the  purpose  of  looking  at  the  Great  Spirit,  and  in  conse- 
quence paid  them  tlie  greatest  respect  and  reverence.  This  opinion 
saved  us  much  trouble,  for  they  did  not  presume  to  approach  the  in- 
struments ;  and  although  some  of  them  were  always  to  be  found  with- 
out the  boundary  which  had  been  traced  to  limit  their  approach,  they 
never  intruded  within  it.  They  always  behaved  civilly,  and  said  they 
only  came  to  sara-sara  (look  on). 

I  afterwards  took  Seru  on  board  the  Vincennes,  v/here,  as  his  father 
had  recommended,  I  gave  him  plenty  of  good  advice,  to  which  he 
seemed  to  pay  great  attention.  I  had  been  told  that  he  would  pro- 
bably exhibit  hauteur  and  an  arrogant  bearing,  but  he  manifested 
nothing  of  the  kind.  He  appeared  rather,  as  I  had  been  told  by  his 
father  I  would  find  him,  "  young  and  frisky."  He  was  received  with 
the  same  attentions  that  had  been  paid  to  his  father.  The  firing  of 
the  guns  seemed  to  take  his  fancy  much,  and  he  was  desirous  that  I 
should  gratify  him  by  continuing  to  fire  them  longer ;  but  I  was  not 
inclined  to  make  the  honours  paid  to  him  greater  than  those  rendered 
to  his  father,  knowing  how  observant  they  are  of  all  forms.  The 
whole  party,  himself  included,  showed  more  pleasure  and  v/ere  much 
more  liberal  in  their  exclamations  of  vi  naka,  vi  naka !  and  whoo ' 
using  them  more  energetically  than  the  king's  party,  as  might  be 
naturally  expected  from  a  younger  set  of  natives.  Seru  is  quite  in- 
genious ;  he  took  the  musket  given  him  to  pieces  as  quickly,  and  used 
it  with  as  much  adroitness  as  if  he  had  been  a  gunsmith.  His  ambati 
(priest)  was  with  him,  and  the  party  all  appeared  greatly  delighted 
with  the  ship.  On  the  whole  I  was  much  pleased  with  him  during  his 
visit;  shortly  afterwards,  he,  however,  visited  the  ship  during  my 
absence,  and  displayed  a  very  diffei-ent  bearing,  so  much  so  as  to 
require  to  be  checked.  I  learned  a  circumstance  which  would  serve 
to  prove  that  the  reputation  he  bears  is  pretty  well  founded.  He  on 
one  occasion  had  sent  word  to  one  of  the  islands  (Goro,  I  believe),  for 
the  chief  to  have  a  quantity  of  cocoa-nut  oil  ready  for  him  by  a  certain 
time.  Towards  the  expiration  of  the  specified  interval,  Seru  went  to 
the  island  and  found  it  was  not  ready.  The  old  chief  of  the  island 
pleaded  the  impossibility  of  compliance,  from  want  of  time,  and  pro- 
mised to  have  it  ready  as  soon  as  possible.  Seru  told  him  he  was  a 
great  liar,  and  without  further  words,  struck  him  on  the  head  and 
killed  him  on  the  spot.  This  is  only  one  of  many  instances  of  the 
exercise  of  arbitrary  authority  over  their  vassals. 

One  day,  while  at  the  observatory,  I  was  greatly  surprised  at  seeing 

68  O  V  O  L  A  U. 

one  whom  I  took  to  be  a  Feejee-man  enter  my  tent,  a  circumstance  so 
inconsistent  with  the  respect  to  our  prescribed  Umit,  of  which  1  have 
spoken.  His  colour,  however,  struck  me  as  Hghter  than  that  of  any 
native  1  had  yet  seen.  He  was  a  short  wrinkled  old  man,  but  appeared 
to  possess  great  vigour  and  activity.  He  had  a  beard  that  reached  to 
his  middle,  and  but  little  hair,  of  a  reddish  gray  colour,  on  his  head. 
He  gave  me  no  time  for  inquiry,  but  at  once  addressed  me  in  broad 
Irish,  with  a  rich  Milesian  brogue.  In  a  few  minutes  he  made 
me  acquainted  with  his  story,  which,  by  his  own  account,  was  as 

His  name  was  Paddy  Connel,  but  the  natives  called  him  Berry ;  he 
was  born  in  the  county  of  Clare  in  Ireland ;  had  run  away  from  school 
when  he  was  a  little  fellow,  and  after  wandering  about  as  a  vagabond, 
was  pressed  into  the  army  in  the  first  Irish  rebellion.  At  the  time  the 
French  landed  in  Ireland,  the  regiment  to  which  he  was  attached 
marched  at  once  against  the  enemy,  and  soon  arrived  on  the'  field  of 
battle,  where  they  were  brought  to  the  charge.  The  first  thing  he 
knew  or  heard,  the  drums  struck  up  a  White  Boys'  tune,  and  his 
whole  regiment  went  over  and  joined  the  French,  with  the  exception 
of  the  officers,  who  had  to  fly.  They  were  then  marched  against  the 
British,  and  were  soon  defeated  by  Lord  Cornwallis ;  it  was  a  hard 
fight,  and  Paddy  found  himself  among  the  slain.  When  he  thought  the 
battle  was  over,  and  night  came  on,  he  crawled  off"  and  reached  home. 
He  was  then  taken  up  and  tried  for  his  life,  but  was  acquitted ;  he  w^as, 
however,  remanded  to  prison,  and  busied  himself  in  effecting  the 
escape  of  some  of  his  comrades.  On  this  being  discovered,  he  was 
confined  in  the  Black  Hole,  and  soon  after  sent  to  Cork,  to  be  put  on 
board  a  convict-ship  bound  to  New  South  Wales.  When  he  arrived 
there,  his  name  was  not  found  on  the  books  of  the  prisoners,  conse- 
quently he  had  been  transported  by  mistake,  and  was,  therefore,  set  at 
liberty.  He  then  worked  about  for  several  years,  and  collected  a  small 
sum  of  money,  but  unfortunately  fell  into  bad  company,  got  drunk,  and 
lost  it  all.  Just  about  this  time  Captain  Sartori,  of  the  ship  General 
Wellesley,  arrived  at  Sydney.  Having  lost  a  great  part  of  his  crew 
by  sickness  and  desertion,  he  desired  to  procure  hands  for  his  ship, 
which  was  still  at  Sandalwood  Bay,  and  obtained  thirty-five  men,  one 
of  whom  was  Paddy  Connel.  At  the  time  they  were  ready  to  depart, 
a  French  privateer,  Le  Gloriant,  Captain  Dubardieu,put  into  Sydney, 
when  Captain  Sartori  engaged  a  passage  for  himself  and  his  men  to 
the  Feejees.  On  their  way  they  touched  at  Norfolk  Island,  where  the 
ship  struck,  and  damaged  her  keel  so  much  that  they  were  obliged  to 

O  V  O  L  A  U.  69 

put  into  the  Bay  of  Islands  for  repairs.  Paddy  asserts  that  a  difficulty 
had  occurred  here  between  Captain  Sartori  and  his  men  about  their 
provisions,  which  was  amicably  settled.  The  Gloriant  finally  sailed 
from  New  Zealand  for  Tongataboo,  where  ihey  arrived  just  after  the 
capture  of  a  vessel,  which  he  supposed  to  have  been  the  Port  au 
Prince,  as  they  had  obtained  many  articles  from  the  natives,  which 
had  evidently  belonged  to  some  large  vessel.  Here  they  remained 
some  months,  and  then  sailed  for  Sandalwood  Bay,  where  the  men, 
on  account  of  their  former  quarrel  with  Captain  Sartori,  refused  to  go 
on  board  the  General  Wellesley :  some  of  them  shipped  on  board  the 
Gloriant,  and  others,  with  Paddy,  determined  to  remain  on  shore  with 
the  natives.  He  added,  that  Captain  Sartori  was  kind  to  him,  and 
at  parting  had  given  him  a  pistol,  cutlass,  and  an  old  good-for-nothing 
musket ;  these,  with  his  sea-chest  and  a  few  clothes,  were  all  that  he 
possessed.  He  had  now  lived  forty  years  among  these  savages.  After 
hearing  his  whole  story,  I  told  him  I  did  not  believe  a  word  of  it ;  to 
which  he  answered,  that  the  main  part  of  it  was  true,  but  he  might 
have  made  some  mistakes,  as  he  had  been  so  much  in  the  habit  of  lying 
to  the  Feejeeans,  that  he  hardly  now  knew  when  he  told  the  truth, 
adding  that  he  had  no  desire  to  tell  any  thing  but  the  truth. 

Paddy  turned  out  to  be  a  very  amusing  fellow,  and  possessed  an 
accurate  knowledge  of  the  Feejee  character.  Some  of  the  whites  told 
me  that  he  was  more  than  half  Feejee ;  indeed  he  seemed  to  delight  in 
showing  how  nearly  he  was  allied  to  them  in  feeling  and  propensities ; 
and,  like  them,  seemed  to  fix  his  attention  upon  trifles.  He  gave  me 
a  droll  account  of  his  daily  employments,  which  it  would  be  inappro- 
priate to  give  here,  and  finished  by  telling  me  the  only  wish  he  had 
then,  was  to  get  for  his  little  boy,  on  whom  he  doated,  a  small  hatchet, 
and  the  only  articles  he  had  to  offer  for  it  were  a  few  old  hens.  On  my 
asking  him  if  he  did  not  cultivate  the  ground,  he  said  at  once  no,  he 
found  it  much  easier  to  get  his  living  by  telling  the  Feejeeans  stories, 
which  he  could  always  make  good  enough  for  them ;  these,  and  the 
care  of  his  two  little  boys,  and  his  hens,  and  his  pigs,  when  he  had 
any,  gave  him  ample  employment  and  plenty  of  food.  He  had  lived 
much  at  Rewa,  and  until  lately  had  been  a  resident  at  Levuka,  but 
had,  in  consequence  of  his  intrigues,  been  expelled  by  the  white  resi- 
dents, to  the  island  of  Ambatiki.  It  appeared  that  they  had  unani- 
mously come  to  the  conclusion  that  if  he  did  not  remove,  they  would 
be  obliged  to  put  him  to  death  for  their  own  safety.  I  could  not 
induce  Whippy  or  Tom  to  give  me  the  circumstances  that  occasioned 
this  determination,  and   Paddy  would  not  communicate   more  than 


O  V  O  L  A  U. 

that  his  residence  on  Ambatiki  was  a  forced  one,  and  that  it  was  as 
though  he  was  Uving  out  of  the  world,  rearing  pigs,  fowls,  and  chil- 
dren. Of  the  last  description  of  live-stock  he  had  forty-eight,  and 
hoped  that  he  might  live  to  see  fifty  born  to  him.  He  iiad  had  one 
hundred  wives. 








Before  proceeding  to  the  narration  of  the  operations  of  the  squadron 
in  the  Feejee  Group,  it  would  appear  expedient  to  give  some  account 
of  the  people  who  inhabit  the  islands  of  which  it  is  composed.  A 
reader,  unacquainted  with  their  manners  and  customs,  can  hardly 
appreciate  the  difficulties  with  which  the  performance  of  our  duties 
was  attended,  or  the  obstacles  which  impeded  our  progress.  Our 
information,  in  relation  to  the  almost  unknown  race  which  occupies 
the  Feejee  Group,  was  obtained  from  personal  observation,  from  the 
statements  of  the  natives  themselves,  and  from  white  residents.  I  also 
derived  much  information  from  the  missionaries,  who,  influenced  by 
motives  of  religion,  have  undertaken  the  arduous,  and  as  yet  unprofit- 
able task  of  introducing  the  light  of  civilization  and  the  illumination 
of  the  gospel  into  this  benighted  region. 

Although,  as  we  shall  see,  the  natives  of  Feejee  have  made  consi- 
derable progress  in  several  of  the  useful  arts,  they  are,  in  many 
respects,  the  most  barbarous  and  savage  race  now  existing  upon  the 
globe.  The  intercourse  they  have  had  with  white  men  has  produced 
some  effect  on  their  political  condition,  but  does  not  appear  to  have  had 
the  least  influence  in  mitigating  the  barbarous  ferocity  of  their  cha- 
racter. In  this  group,  therefore,  may  be  seen  the  savage  in  his  state 
of  nature ;  and  a  comparison  of  his  character  with  that  of  the  natives 
of  the  groups  in  which  the  gospel  has  been  profitably  preached,  will 
enable  our  readers  to  form  a  better  estimate  of  the  value  of  missionary 
labours,  than  can  well  be  acquired  in  any  other  manner. 

The  Feejeeans  are  generally  above  the  middle  height,  and  exhibit 
a  great  variety  of  figure.     Among  them  the  chiefs  are  tall,  well-made, 

VOL.  in.  G  ]0  ('3) 



and  muscular ;  while  the  lower  orders  manifest  the  meagerness  arising 
from  laborious  service  and  scanty  nourishment.  Their  complexion 
lies,  in  general,  between  that  of  the  black  and  copper-coloured  races, 
although  instances  of  both  extremes  are  to  be  met  with,  thus  indicating 
a  descent  from  two  different  stocks.  One  of  these,  the  copper-coloured, 
IS  no  doubt  the  same  as  that  whence  the  Tongese  are  derived.* 

None  of  them  equal  the  natives  of  Tonga  in  beauty  of  person. 
The  faces  of  the  greater  number  are  long,  with  a  large  mouth,  good 
and  well-set  teeth,  and  a  well-formed  nose.  Instances,  however,  are 
by  no  means  rare,  of  narrow  and  high  foreheads,  flat  noses,  and  thick 
lips,  with  a  broad  short  chin ;  still,  they  have  nothing  about  them  of 
the  negro  type.  Even  the  frizzled  appearance  of  the  hair,  which  is 
almost  universal,  and  which  at  first  sight  seems  a  distinct  natural 
characteristic,  I  was,  after  a  long  acquaintance  with  their  habits,  in- 
clined to  ascribe  to  artificial  causes.  Besides  the  long  bushy  beards 
and  mustaches,  which  are  always  worn  by  the  chiefs,  they  have  a 
great  quantity  of  hair  on  their  bodies.  This,  with  the  peculiar  propor- 
tion between  their  thighs  and  the  calves  of  their  legs,  brings  them  nearer 
to  the  whites  than  any  of  the  Polynesian  races  visited  by  us. 

The  eyes  of  the  Feejeeans  are  usually  fine,  being  black  and  pene- 
trating. Some,  however,  have  them  red  and  bloodshot,  which  may 
probably  be  ascribed  to  ava  drinking. 

The  expression  of  their  countenances  is  usually  restless  and  watch- 
ful ;  they  are  observing  and  quick  in  their  movements. 

The  hair  of  the  boys  is  cropped  close,  while  that  of  the  young  girls 
is  allowed  to  grow.  In  the  latter  it  is  to  be  seen  naturally  arranged  in 
tight  cork-screw  locks,  many  inches  in  length,  which  fall  in  all  direc- 
tions from  the  crown  of  the  head.  The  natural  colour  of  the  hair  of 
the  girls  can  hardly  be  ascertained,  for  they  are  in  the  habit  of  acting 
upon  it  by  lime  and  pigments,  which  make  it  white,  red,  brown,  or 
black,  according  to  the  taste  of  the  individual.  Mr.  Drayton  procured 
a  very  correct  camera  lucida  drawing  of  a  girl  about  sixteen  years  of 
age,  which  will  give  the  reader  a  better  idea  of  the  females  of  that  age 
than  any  description :  she  is  represented  in  the  cut. 

When  the  boys  grow  up,  their  hair  is  no  longer  cropped,  and  great 
pains  is  taken  to  spread  it  out  into  a  mop-like  form.  The  chiefs,  in 
particular,  pay  great  attention  to  the  dressing  of  their  heads,  and  for 
this  purpose  all  of  them  have  barbers,  whose  sole  occupation  is  the 
care  of  their  masters'  heads.     The  duty  of  these  functionaries  is  held 

*  The  question  of  the  origin  of  the  Feejeeans  will  be  found  ably  illustrated  in  the  report 
of  our  philologist,  Mr.  Hale. 

CUSTOMS    OF    THE    F  E  E  J  E  E    GROUP. 



to  be  of  so  sacred  a  nature,  that  their  hands  are  tabooed  from  all  other 
employment,  and  they  are  not  even  permitted  to  feed  themselves.* 
To  dress  the  head  of  a  chief  occupies  several  hours,  and  the  hair  is 
made  to  spread  out  from  the  head,  on  every  side,  to  a  distance  that  is 
often  eight  inches.  The  beard,  which  is  also  carefully  nursed,  often 
reaches  the  breast,  and  when  a  Feejeean  has  these  important  parts  of 
his  person  well  dressed,  he  exhibits  a  degree  of  conceit  that  is  not  a 
little  amusing. 

In  the  process  of  dressing  the  hair,  it  is  well  anointed  with  oil, 
mixed  with  a  carbonaceous  black,  until  it  is  completely  saturated.f 
The  barber  then  takes  the  hair-pin,  which  is  a  long  and  slender  rod, 
made  of  tortoise-shell  or  bone,  and  proceeds  to  twitch  almost  every 
separate  hair.  This  causes  it  to  frizzle  and  stand  erect.  The  bush  of 
hair  is  then  trimmed  smooth,  by  singeing  it,  until  it  has  the  appearance 
of  an  immense  wig.  When  this  has  been  finished,  a  piece  of  tapa, 
so  fine  as  to  resemble  tissue-paper,  is  wound  in  light  folds  around  it, 
to  protect  the  hair  from  dew  or  dust.  This  covering,  which  has  the 
look  of  a  turban, .is  called  sala,  and  none  but  chiefs  are  allowed  to 
wear  it;  any  attempt  to  assume  this  head-dress  by  a  kai-si,  or  common 

*  These  barbers  are  called  a-vu-ni-ulu.  They  are  attached  to  the  household  of  the  chiefs 
in  numbers  of  from  two  to  a  dozen. 

t  The  oil  is  procured  by  scraping  and  squeezing  a  nut  called  maiketu;  the  black  is  pre- 
pared from  the  laudi  nut. 


person,  would  be  immediately  punished  with  death.  The  sale,  when 
taken  care  of,  will  last  three  weeks  or  a  month,  and  the  hair  is  not 
dressed  except  when  it  is  removed ;  but  the  high  chiefs  and  dandies 
seldom  allow  a  day  to  pass  without  changing  the  sala,  and  having 
their  hair  put  in  order. 

The  Feejeeans  are  extremely  changeable  in  their  disposition.  They 
are  fond  of  joking,  indulge  in  laughter,  and  will  at  one  moment  appear 
to  give  themselves  up  to  merriment,  from  which  they  in  an  instant 
pass  to  demon-like  anger,  which  they  evince  by  looks  which  cannot 
be  misunderstood  by  those  who  are  the  subjects  of  it,  and  particularly 
if  in  the  power  of  the  enraged  native.  Their  anger  seldom  finds  vent 
in  words,  but  has  the  character  of  sullenness.  A  chief,  when  offended, 
seldom  speaks  a  word,  but  puts  sticks  in  the  ground,  to  keep  the  cause 
of  his  anger  constantly  in  his  recollection.  The  objects  of  it  now 
understand  that  it  is  time  to  appease  him  by  propitiatory  offerings,  if 
they  would  avoid  the  bad  consequences.  When  these  have  been  ten- 
dered to  the  satisfaction  of  the  offended  dignitary,  he  pulls  up  the 
sticks  as  a  signal  that  he  is  pacified. 

According  to  Whippy,  who  had  an  excellent  opportunity  of  judging, 
the  Feejeeans  are  addicted  to  stealing,  are  treacherous  in  the  extreme, 
and,  with  all  their  ferocity,  cowards.  The  most  universal  trait  of  their 
character,  is  their  inclination  to  lying.  They  tell  a  falsehood  in  pre- 
ference, when  the  truth  would  better  answer  their  purpose;  and,  in 
conversing  with  them,  the  truth  can  be  only  obtained,  by  cautioning 
them  not  to  talk  like  a  Feejee  man,  or,  in  other  words,  not  to  tell  any 

Adroit  lying  is  regarded  as  an  accomplishment,  and  one  who  is 
expert  at  it  is  sure  of  a  comfortable  subsistence  and  a  friendly  recep- 
tion wherever  he  goes.  Their  own  weakness  in  this  respect  does  not 
render  them  suspicious,  and  nothing  but  what  is  greatly  exaggerated 
is  likely  to  be  believed.  In  illustration  of  the  latter  trait,  I  was  told 
by  Paddy  Connel,  that  he  never  told  them  the  truth  when  he  wished  to 
be  believed,  for  of  it  they  were  always  incredulous.  He  maintained 
that  it  was  absolutely  necessary  to  tell  them  lies  in  order  to  receive 

Covetousness  is  probably  one  of  the  strongest  features  of  the  Fee- 
jeean  character,  and  is  the  incentive  to  many  crimes.  I  have,  how- 
ever, been  assured,  that  a  white  man  might  travel  with  safety  from 
one  end  of  an  island  to  the  other,  provided  he  had  nothing  about  him 
to  excite  their  desire  of  acquisition.  This  may  be  true,  but  it  is  im- 
possible to  say  that  even  the  most  valueless  article  of  our  manufactures 
might  not  be  coveted  by  them.     With  all   this   risk  of  being  put  tc 


death,  hospitable  entertainment  and  reception  in  their  houses  is  ahnost 
certain,  and  while  in  them,  perfect  security  may  be  relied  on.  The 
same  native  who  within  a  few  yards  of  his  house  would  murder  a 
coming  or  departing  guest  for  sake  of  a  knife  or  a  hatchet,  will  defend 
him  at  the  risk  of  his  own  life  as  soon  as  he  has  passed  his  threshold. 

The  people  of  the  Feejee  Group,  are  divided  into  a  number  of  tribes, 
independent  and  often  hostile  to  each  other.  In  each  tribe  great  and 
marked  distinctions  of  rank  exist.  The  classes  which  are  readily 
distinguished  are  as  follows:  1.  kings;  2.  chiefs  ;  3.  warriors  ;  4.  land- 
holders (matanivanua) ;  5.  slaves  (kai-si).  The  last  have  nominally 
little  influence  ;  but  in  this  group,  as  in  other  countries,  the  mere  force 
of  numbers  is  sufficient  to  counterbalance  or  overcome  the  force  of  the 
prescriptive  rights  of  the  higher  and  less  numerous  classes.  This  has 
been  the  case  at  Ambau,  where  the  people  at  no  distant  period  rose 
against  and  drove  out  their  kings. 

Among  the  most  singular  of  the  Feejee  customs,  and  of  whose  origin 
it  is  difficult  to  form  a  rational  opinion,  is  that  which  gives  certain 
rights  to  a  member  of  another  tribe,  who  is  called  Vasu  (nephew).  To 
give  an  idea  of  the  character  of  this  right,  and  the  manner  in  which  it 
is  exercised,  I  shall  cite  the  case  of  Tanoa.  He,  although  the  most 
powerful  chief  in  the  group,  feels  compelled  to  comply  with,  and  ac- 
knowledges Thokanauto  (better  known  to  foreigners  as  Mr.  Phillips) 
as  Vasu-togai  of  Ambau,  who  has  in  consequence  the  right  of  sending 
thither  for  any  thing  he  may  want,  and  even  from  Tanoa  himself. 
On  Tanoa's  first  visit  to  me,  among  other  presents,  I  gave  him  one  of 
Hall's  patent  rifles.  This  Thokanauto  heard  of,  and  determined  to 
have  it,  and  Tanoa  had  no  other  mode  of  preserving  it  than  by  send- 
ing it  away  from  Ambau.  When  Rivaletta,  Tanoa's  youngest  son, 
visited  me  one  day  at  the  observatory,  he  had  the  rifle  with  him,  and 
told  me  that  his  father  had  put  it  into  his  hands,  in  order  that  it  might 
not  be  demanded. 

Afterwards,  when  Thokanauto  himself  paid  me  a  visit,  he  had  in  his 
possession  one  of  the  watches  that  had  been  given  to  Seru,  and  told 
me  openly  that  he  would  have  the  musket  also.  While  at  Levuka,  he 
appropriated  to  himself  a  canoe  and  its  contents,  leaving  the  owner  to 
find  his  way  back  to  Ambau  as  he  could.  The  latter  made  no  com- 
plaint, and  seemed  to  consider  the  act  as  one  of  course. 

When  the  Vasu-togai  or  Vasu-levu  of  a  town  6y  district  visits  it,  he 
is  received  with  honours  even  greater  than  those  paid  to  the  chief  who 
rules  over  it.  All  bow  in  obedience  to  his  will,  and  he  is  received 
with  clapping  of  hands  and  the  salutation,  "  O  sa  vi  naka  lako  mai 

78  CUSTOMS    OF    THE    F  E  E  J  E  E    GROUP. 

vaka  turanga  Ratu  Vasa-levu,"  (Hail !  good  is  the  coming  hither  of 
our  noble  Lord  Nephew.) 

When  the  Vasu-levu  of  Mbenga  goes  thither,  honours  almost  divine 
are  rendered  him,  for  he  is  supposed  to  be  descended  in  a  direct  line 
from  gods.  Mbenga  formerly  played  a  very  conspicuous  part  in  the 
affairs  of  the  group,  but  of  late  years  it  happened  to  get  into  difficul- 
ties with  Rewa,  in  consequence  of  which  Ngaraningiou  attacked  it, 
conquered  its  inhabitants,  and  massacred  many  of  them.  Since  that 
time  it  has  had  little  or  no  political  influence. 

The  hostile  feelings  of  the  different  tribes  makes  war  the  principal 
employment  of  the  males  throughout  the  group;  and  where  there  is  so 
strong  a  disposition  to  attack  their  neighbours,  plausible  reasons  for 
beginning  hostilities  are  not  difficult  to  find.  The  wars  of  the  Fee- 
jeeans  usually  arise  from  some  accidental  affront  or  misunderstanding, 
of  which  the  most  powerful  party  takes  advantage  to  extend  his 
dominions  or  increase  his  wealth.  This  is  sometimes  accomplished 
by  a  mere  threat,  by  which  the  weaker  party  is  terrified  into  submis- 
sion to  the  demand  for  territory  or  property. 

When  threats  fail,  a  formal  declaration  of  war  is  made  by  an 
officer,  resembling  in  his  functions  the  heralds  (feciales)  of  the  Ro- 
mans. Every  town  has  one  of  these,  who  is  held  in  much  respect, 
and  whose  words  are  always  taken  as  true.  When  he  repairs  to  the 
town  of  the  adverse  party,  where  he  is  always  received  with  great 
attention,  he  carries  with  him  an  ava  root,  which  he  presents  to  the 
chiefs,  saying,  "  Korai  sa  tatau,  sa  kalu,"  (I  bid  you  goodbye,  it  is 
war.)  The  usual  answer  is,  "  Sa  vi  naka,  sa  lako  talo  ki,"  (it  is  well, 
return  home.)  Preparations  are  then  made  on  both  sides,  and  v/hen 
they  mean  to  have  a  fair  open  fight,  a  messenger  is  sent  from  one 
party  to  ask  the  other,  what  town  they  intend  to  attack  first.  The 
reply  is  sometimes  true,  but  is  sometimes  intended  merely  as  a  cover 
for  their  real  intentions.  In  the  latter  case,  however,  it  rarely  suc- 
ceeds ;  in  the  former,  both  parties  repair  to  the  appointed  place. 

In  preparing  for  war,  and  during  its  continuance,  they  abstain  from 
the  company  of  women ;  and  there  were  instances  related  to  me, 
where  this  abstinence  had  continued  for  several  years. 

When  a  body  made  up  of  several  tribes  has  approached  near  the 
enemy,  the  vunivalu,  or  general,  makes  a  speech  to  each  separate 
tribe.  In  this  he  does  all  in  his  power  by  praises,  taunts,  or  exhorta- 
tions, as  he  thinks  best  suited  to  the  purpose,  to  excite  them  to  deeds 
of  bravery.     To  one  he  will  talk  in  the  following  manner: 

*'  You  say  you  are  a  brave  people.     You  have  made  me  great  pro- 


mises,  now  we  will  see  how  you  wuU  keep  them.  To  me  you  look 
moi-e  like  slaves  than  fighting  men." 

Or  thus  :  "  Here  are  these  strangers  come  to  fight  with  us.  Let  us 
see  who  are  the  best  men." 

To  another  tribe  he  will  say :  "  Where  do  you  come  from  ?"  Some 
one  of  the  tribe  starts  up,  and  striking  the  ground  with  his  club,  replies 
by  naming  its  place  of  residence.  The  vunivalu  then  continues, 
"  Ah  !  I  have  heard  of  you ;  you  boast  yourselves  to  be  brave  men ; 
we  shall  see  what  you  are;  I  doubt  whether  you  will  do  much.  You 
seem  to  be  more  like  men  fit  to  plant  and  dig  yams  than  to  fight." 

After  he  has  thus  gone  through  his  forces,  he  cries  out :  "  Attend  !" 
On  this  the  whole  clap  their  hands.  He  then  tells  them  to  prepare  for 
battle,  to  which  they  answer,  "  Mana  ndina,"  (it  is  true.) 

In  some  parts  of  the  group  the  forces  are  marshalled  in  bands,  each 
of  which  has  a  banner  or  flag,  under  which  it  fights.  The  staff  of 
these  flags  (druatina)  is  about  twenty  feet  in  length,  and  the  flags  them- 
selves, which  are  of  corresponding  dimensions  are  made  of  tapa.  As 
an  instance,  the  forces  of  Rewa  are  arranged  in  four  bands,  viz. : 

1.  The  Valevelu,  or  king's  own  people,  who  are  highest  in  rank, 
md  held  in  the  greatest  estimation. 

2.  The  Niaku  ne  tumbua,  the  people  of  the  vunivalu  or  fighting 

3.  The  Kai  Rewa,  or  landholders  of  Rewa. 

4.  The  Kai  Ratu,  which  is  composed  of  the  oflspring  of  chiefs  by 
common  women. 

The  flags  are  distinguished  from  each  other  by  markings :  that  of 
the  Valevelu  has  four  or  five  vertical  black  stripes,  about  a  foot  wide, 
with  equal  spaces  of  white  loft  between  them ;  the  rest  of  the  flag  is 

In  the  flag  of  the  vunivalu  the  black  and  white  stripes  are  horizontal. 

The  flag  of  the  Kai  Rewa  is  all  white. 

The  Kai  Ratu  use,  as  flags,  merely  strips  of  tapa,  or  array  them- 
selves under  the  flag  of  a  chief.  Each  of  the  first  three  bands  is  kept 
distinct,  and  fights  under  its  own  flag,  in  the  place  which  the  com- 
mander appoints.  The  flag  of  the  latter  is  always  longest,  and  is 
raised  highest,  whether  he  be  king  or  only  vunivalu.  To  carry  a  flag 
is  considered  as  a  post  of  the  greatest  distinction,  and  is  confined  to 
the  bravest  and  most  active  of  the  tribe. 

A  town,  when  besieged,  has  also  its  signal  of  pride.  This  consists 
of  a  sort  of  kite,  of  a  circular  shape,  made  of  palm-leaves,  and  deco- 
rated with  ribands  of  white  and  coloured  tapa.  When  an  enemy 
approaches  the  town,  if  the  wind  be  favourable,  the  kite  is  raised  by 


means  of  a  very  long  cord.  The  cord  is  passed  through  a  hole  made 
near  the  top  of  a  pole  thirty  or  forty  feet  in  height,  which  is  erected  in 
a  conspicuous  part  of  the  town.  The  cord  is  then  drawn  backwards 
and  forwards  through  the  hole,  in  such  a  manner  as  to  be  kept  floating 
as  a  signal  of  defiance,  immediately  over  the  approaching  enemy. 
The  attacking  party,  excited  by  this,  rush  forward  with  their  flag,  and 
plant  it  as  near  the  walls  as  possible.  If  the  garrison  be  sufficiently 
strong  they  will  sally  out  and  endeavour  to  take  the  flag ;  for  it  is 
considered  as  a  great  triumph  to  capture  a  flag,  and  a  foul  disgrace  to 
lose  one. 

When  flags  are  taken,  they  are  always  hung  up  as  trophies  in  the 
mbure ;  and  in  that  of  Levuka  I  saw  many  small  ones  suspended, 
which,  as  I  was  informed  by  Whippy,  had  been  taken  from  moun- 
taineers of  the  interior  of  the  island. 

The  towns  are  usually  fortified  with  a  strong  palisade  made  of 
bread-fruit  or  cocoa-nut  trees,  around  which  is  a  ditch  partly  filled 
with  water.  There  are  usually  two  entrances,  in  which  are  gates,  so 
narrow  as  to  admit  only  one  person  at  a  time.  The  village  of  Waitora, 
about  two  miles  to  the  north  of  Levuka,  is  justly  considered  by  the 
natives  as  a  place  of  great  strength.  This  was  visited  by  Messrs.  Hale 
and  Sandford,  who  give  the  following  description  of  it.  It  is  situated 
upon  a  hill,  and  can  be  approached  only  by  a  narrow  path  along  the 
sloping  edge  of  a  rocky  ridge.  At  the  extremity  of  this  path  is  a  level 
space  of  about  an  acre  in  extent,  which  is  surrounded  by  a  stone  wall, 
and  filled  with  houses.  In  the  centre  is  a  rock,  about  twenty  feet 
high,  and  one  hundred  feet  square.  The  top  of  this  is  reached  by  a 
natural  staircase,  formed  by  the  roots  of  a  banyan  tree,  which  insert 
themselves  in  the  crevices  of  the  rock.  The  tree  itself,  with  its  numerous 
trunks,  spreads  out  and  overshadows  the  whole  of  the  rock.  A  house 
stands  in  the  middle  of  the  rock.  This  contains  two  Feejee  drums, 
which,  when  struck,  attract  crowds  of  natives  together. 

Some  of  the  principal  towns  are  not  fortified  at  all.  This  is  the  case 
with  Ambau,  Muthuata,  and  Rewa.  The  fortifications  of  which  we 
have  spoken,  whether  palisades  and  ditch  or  stone  walls,  are  con- 
structed with  great  ingenuity,  particularly  the  holds  to  which  they 
retire  when  hard  pressed.  For  these  a  rock  or  hill,  as  inaccessible  as 
possible,  is  chosen,  with  a  small  level  space  on  the  top.  Around  this 
space  a  palisade  is  constructed  of  upright  posts  of  cocoa-nut  tree,  about 
nine  inches  in  diameter,  and  about  two  feet  apart.  To  the  outside  of 
these,  wicker-work  is  fastened  with  strong  lashings  of  sennit.  Over 
each  entrance  is  a  projecting  platform,  about  nine  feet  square,  for  the 
purpose   of  guarding  the   approach  by  hurling   spears  and   shooting 


arrows.  The  gates  or  entrances  are  shut  by  sHding  bars  from  the 
inside,  and  are  defended  on  each  side  by  structures  of  strong  wicker- 
work,  resembUng  bastions,  which  are  placed  about  fifteen  feet  apart. 
When  there  is  a  ditch,  the  bridge  across  it  is  composed  of  two  narrow 
logs.  The  whole  arrangement  affords  an  excellent  defence  against 
any  weapons  used  by  the  natives  of  these  islands,  and  even  against 

Sieges  of  these  fortified  places  seldom  continue  long;  for  if  the 
attacking  party  be  not  speedily  successful,  the  want  of  provisions,  of 
which  there  is  seldom  a  supply  for  more  than  two  or  three  days, 
compels  them  to  retire.  Although  such  assaults  are  of  short  duration, 
the  war  often  continues  for  a  long  time  without  any  decisive  result. 

If  one  of  the  parties  desires  peace,  it  sends  an  ambassador,  who 
carries  a  whale's  tooth,  as  a  token  of  submission.  The  victorious 
party  often  requires  the  conquered  to  yield  the  right  of  soil,  in  which 
case  the  latter  brins;  with  them  a  basket  of  the  earth  from  their  district. 
The  acceptance  of  this  is  the  signal  of  peace,  but  from  that  time  the 
conquered  become  liable  to  the  payment  of  a  yearly  tribute.  In  addi- 
tion to  this  burden,  the  more  powerful  tribes  often  send  word  to  their 
dependencies  that  they  have  not  received  a  present  for  a  long  time ; 
and  if  the  intimation  has  no  eflfect,  the  message  is  speedily  followed  by 
an  armed  force,  by  which  the  recusant  tribe  or  town  is  sometimes 
entirely  destroyed.  The  bearer  of  such  a  message  carries  with  him  a 
piece  of  ava,  which  is  given  to  the  chief  of  the  town  in  council,  who 
causes  it  to  be  brewed,  after  which  the  message  is  delivered.  But 
when  an  errand  is  sent  to  Ambau,  or  any  superior  chief,  the  messenger 
always  carries  with  him  a  gift  of  provisions  and  other  valuables. 

If  a  town  is  compelled  to  entreat  to  be  permitted  to  capitulate,  for 
the  purpose  of  saving  the  lives  of  its  people,  its  chiefs  and  principal 
inhabitants  are  required  to  crawl  towards  their  conquerors  upon  their 
hands  and  knees,  suing  for  pardon  and  imploring  mercy.  The 
daughters  of  the  chiefs  are  also  brought  forward  and  offered  to  the 
victors,  while  from  the  lower  class  victims  are  selected  to  be  sacri- 
ficed to  the  gods.  Even  such  hard  conditions  do  not  always  suffice,  but 
a  whole  population  is  sometimes  butchered  in  cold  blood,  or  reduced  to 
a  condition  of  slavery.  To  avoid  such  terrible  consequences,  most  of 
the  weak  tribes  seek  security  by  establishing  themselves  on  high  and 
almost  inaccessible  rocks.  Some  of  these  are  so  steep  that  it  would 
be  hardly  possible  for  any  but  one  of  the  natives  to  climb  them ;  yet 
even  their  women  may  be  seen  climbing  their  rocky  and  almost  per- 
pendicular walls,  to  heights  of  fifty  or  sixty  feet,  and  carrying  loads 
of  water,  yams,  &c. 

VOL.  III.  1 1 


Tribes  that  do  not  possess  such  fastnesses,  are  compelled  to  take 
refuge  under  the  protection  of  some  powerful  chief,  in  consideration 
of  which  they  are  bound  to  aid  their  protectors  in  case  of  war.  They 
are  summoned  to  do  this  by  a  messenger,  who  carries  a  whale's  tooth, 
and  sometimes  directs  the  number  of  men  they  are  to  send.  A  refusal 
would  bring  war  upon  themselves,  and  is  therefore  seldom  ventured. 
There  is,  however,  a  recent  instance  in  which  such  aid  was  refused 
with  impunity  by  Tui  Levuka,  who  was  persuaded  by  the  white  resi- 
dents* to  disobey  a  summons  sent  from  Ambau.  Having  done  this, 
the  people  of  Levuka  felt  it  necessary  to  prepare  for  defence,  by  re- 
pairing their  stone  walls  and  provisioning  their  stronghold  in  the  moun- 
tains. They  thus  stood  upon  their  guard  for  a  long  time,  but  were  not 

The  religion  of  the  Feejeeans,  and  the  practices  which  are  founded 
upon  it,  differ  materially  from  those  of  the  lighter-coloured  Polynesian 

The  tradition  given  by  the  natives  of  the  origin  of  the  various  races 
is  singular,  and  not  very  flattering  to  themselves.  All  are  said  to  have 
been  born  of  one  pair  of  first  parents.  The  Feejee  was  first  born,  but 
acted  wickedly  and  was  black  :  he  therefore  received  but  little  clothing. 
Tonga  was  next  born ;  he  acted  less  wickedly,  was  whiter,  and  had 
more  clothes  given  him.  White  men,  or  Papalangis,  came  last ;  they 
acted  well,  were  white,  and  had  plenty  of  clothes. 

They  have  a  tradition  of  a  great  flood  or  deluge,  which  they  call 
Walavu-levu.  Their  account  of  it  is  as  follows :  after  the  islands  had 
been  peopled  by  the  first  man  and  woman,  a  great  rain  took  place,  by 
which  they  were  finally  submerged ;  but,  before  the  highest  places 
were  covered  by  the  waters,  two  large  double  canoes  made  their  ap- 
pearance; in  one  of  these  was  Rokora,  the  god  of  carpenters,  in  the 
other  Rokola,  his  head  workman,  who  picked  up  some  of  the  people, 
and  kept  them  on  board  until  the  waters  had  subsided,  after  which  they 
were  again  landed  on  the  island.  It  is  reported  that  in  former  times 
canoes  were  always  kept  in  readiness  against  another  inundation. 

The  persons  thus  saved,  eight  in  number,  were  landed  at  Mbenga, 
where  the  highest  of  their  gods  is  said  to  have  made  his  first  appear- 
ance. By  virtue  of  this  tradition,  the  chiefs  of  Mbenga  take  rank 
before  all  others,  and  have  always  acted  a  conspicuous  part  among  the 

*  This  is  not  the  only  instance  in  which  the  white  residents  have  exercised  a  salutary 
influence.  It  is  fortunate  for  the  natives  that  those  who  have  settled  among  them  have 
been  principally  of  such  a  character  as  has  tended  to  their  improvement.  There  are, 
however,  some   exceptions,  by  whose   bad  example  tlie  natives  have  been  l';d  into  many 



Feejees.    They  style  themselves  Ngali-duva-ki-langi  (subject  to  heaven 

The  Pantheon  of  the  Feejee  Group  contains  many  deities.  The 
first  of  these  in  rank  is  Ndengei.  He  is  v^^orshipped  in  the  form  of  a 
large  serpent,  alleged  to  dwell  in  a  district  under  the  authority  of 
Ambau,  which  is  called  Nakauvaudra,  and  is  situated  near  the  western 
end  of  Vitilevu.  To  this  deity,  they  believe  that  the  spirit  goes  imme- 
diately after  death,  for  purification  or  to,  receive  sentence.  From  his 
tribunal  the  spirit  is  supposed  to  return  and  remain  about  the  mbure  or 
temple  of  its  former  abode. 

All  spirits,  however,  are  not  believed  to  be  permitted  to  reach  the 
judgment-seat  of  Ndengei,  for  upon  the  road  it  is  supposed  that  an 
enormous  giant,  armed  with  a  large  axe,  stands  constantly  on  the 
watch.  With  this  weapon  he  endeavours  to  wound  all  who  attempt  to 
pass  him.  Those  who  are  wounded  dare  not  present  themselves  to 
Ndengei,  and  are  obliged  to  wander  about  in  the  mountains.  Whether 
the  spirit  be  wounded  or  not,  depends  not  upon  the  conduct  in  life,  but 
they  ascribe  an  escape  from  the  blow  wholly  to  good  luck. 

Stories  are  prevalent  of  persons  who  have  succeeded  in  passing  the 
monster  without  injury.  One  of  these,  which  was  told  me  by  a  white 
pilot,  will  suffice  to  show  the  character  of  this  superstition. 

A  powerful  chief,  who  had  died  and  been  interred  Vv'ith  all  due 
ceremony,  finding  that  he  had  to  pass  this  giant,  who,  in  the  legend, 
is  stationed  in  the  Moturiki  Channel,  loaded  his  gun,  which  had  been 
buried  with  him,  and  prepared  for  the  encounter.  The  giant  seeing 
the  danger  that  threatened  him,  was  on  the  look-out  to  dodge  the  ball, 
which  he  did  when  the  piece  was  discharged.  Of  this  the  chief  took 
advantage  to  rush  by  him  before  he  could  recover  himself,  reached  the 
judgment-seat  of  Ndengei,  and  now  enjoys  celestial  happiness  ! 

Besides  the  entire  form  of  a  serpent,  Ndengei  is  sometimes  repre- 
sented as  having  only  the  head  and  half  the  body  of  the  figure  of  that 
reptile,  while  the  remaining  portion  of  his  form  is  a  stone,  significant 
of  eternal  duration. 

No  one  pretends  to  know  the  origin  of  Ndengei,  but  many  assert 
that  he  has  been  seen  by  mortals.  Thus,  he  is  reported  to  have 
appeared  under  the  form  of  a  man,  dressed  in  masi  (white  tapa),  after 
the  fashion  of  the  natives,  on  the  beach,  near  Ragi-ragi.  Thence  he 
proceeded  to  Mbenga,  where,  although  it  did  not  please  him,  on 
account  of  its  rocky  shores,  he  made  himself  manifest,  and  thence 
went  to  Kantavu.  Not  liking  the  latter  place,  he  went  to  Rewa,  where 
he  took  up  his  abode.  Here  he  was  joined  by  another  powerful  god, 
called  Warua,  to  whom  after  a  time  he  consented  to  resign  this  loca- 


lity,  on  condition  of  receiving  the  choicest  parts  of  all  kinds  of  food, 
as  the  heads  of  the  turtle  and  pig, — which  are  still  held  sacred.  Under 
this  agreement  he  determined  to  proceed  to  Verata,  where  he  has 
resided  ever  since,  and  by  him  Verata  is  believed  to  have  been 
rendered  impregnable. 

Next  in  rank,  in  their  mythology,  stand  two  sons  of  Ndengei, 
Tokairambe  and  Tui  Lakemba.*  These  act  as  mediators  between 
their  father  and  inferior  spirits.  They  are  said  to  be  stationed,  in  the 
form  of  men,  at  the  door  of  their  father's  cabin,  where  they  receive  and 
transmit  to  him  the  prayers  and  supplications  of  departed  souls. 

The  grandchildren  of  Ndengei  are  third  in  rank.  They  are  innu- 
merable, and  each  has  a  peculiar  duty  to  perform,  of  which  the  most 
usual  is  that  of  presiding  over  islands  and  districts. 

A  fourth  class  is  supposed  to  be  made  up  of  more  distant  relatives 
of  Ndengei.  These  preside  over  separate  tribes,  by  whose  priests  they 
are  consulted.  They  have  no  jurisdiction  beyond  their  own  tribe,  and 
possess  no  power  but  what  is  deputed  to  them  by  superior  deities. 

In  addition  to  these  benignant  beings,  they  believe  in  malicious  and 
mischievous  gods.  These  reside  in  their  Hades,  which  they  call 
Mbulu  (underneath  the  world).  There  reigns  a  cruel  tyrant,  with  grim 
aspect,  whom  they  name  Lothia.  Samuialo  (destroyer  of  souls)  is  his 
colleague,  and  sits  on  the  brink  of  a  huge  fiery  cavern,  into  which  he 
precipitates  departed  spirits. 

These  notions,  although  the  most  prevalent,  are  not  universal. 
Thus :  the  god  of  Muthuata  is  called  Radinadina.  He  is  considered 
as  the  son  of  Ndengei.  Here  also  Rokora,  the  god  of  carpenters,  is 
held  in  honour;  and  they  worship  also  Rokavona,  the  god  of  fishermen. 

The  people  of  Lakemba  believe  that  departed  souls  proceed  to  Na- 
mukaliwu,  a  place  in  the  vicinity  of  the  sea.  Here  they  for  a  time 
exercise  the  same  employments  as  when  in  this  life,  after  which  they 
die  again,  and  go  to  Mbulu,  where  they  are  met  by  Samuialo.  This 
deity  is  empowered  to  seize  and  hurl  into  the  fiery  gulf  all  those  whom 
he  dislikes.  On  Kantavu  they  admit  of  no  god  appointed  to  receive 
departed  souls,  but  suppose  that  these  go  down  into  the  sea,  where 
they  are  examined  by  the  great  spirit,  who  retains  those  he  likes,  and 
sends  back  the  others  to  their  native  island,  to  dwell  among  their 
friends.  Another  belief  is,  that  the  departed  spirit  goes  before  the  god 
Taseta,  who,  as  it  approaches,  darts  a  spear  at  it.  If  the  spirit  exhibits 
any  signs  of  fear,  it  incurs  the  displeasure  of  the  god,  but  if  it  advances 
with  courage,  it  is  received  with  favour. 

*  Some  say  he  has  but  one  son,  called  Mautu  (the  bread-fruit). 


On  Vanua-levu  it  is  believed  that  the  souls  of  their  deceased  friends 
go  to  Dimba-dimba,  a  point  of  land  which  forms  Ambau  Bay.  Here 
they  are  supposed  to  pass  down  into  the  sea,  where  they  are  taken  into 
two  canoes  by  Rokavona  and  Rokora,  and  ferried  across  into  the 
dominions  of  Ndengei.  When  it  blows  hard,  and  there  are  storms  of 
thunder,  lightning,  and  rain,  the  natives  say  that  the  canoes  are  getting 

Some  few  of  the  natives  worship  an  evil  spirit,  whom  they  call  Ruku 
batin  dua  (the  one-toothed  Lord).  He  is  represented  under  the  form 
of  man,  having  wings  instead  of  arms,  and  as  provided  with  claws  to 
seize  his  victims.  His  tooth  is  described  as  being  large  enough  to 
reach  above  the  top  of  his  head  ;  it  is  alleged  he  flies  through  the  air 
emitting  sparks  of  fire.  He  is  said  to  roast  in  fire  all  the  wicked  who 
appertain  to  him.  Those  who  do  not  worship  him,  call  him  Kalou- 
kana,  or  Kalou-du. 

At  Rewa,  it  is  believed  that  the  spirits  first  repair  to  the  residence 
of  Ndengei,  who  allots  some  of  them  to  the  devils  for  food,  and  sends 
the  rest  away  to  Mukalou,  a  small  island  off  Rewa,  where  they  remain 
until  an  appointed  day,  after  which  they  are  all  doomed  to  annihilation. 
The  judgments  thus  passed  by  Ndengei,  seem  to  be  ascribed  rather  to 
his  caprice  than  to  any  desert  of  the  departed  soul. 

This  idea  of  a  second  death  is  illustrated  by  the  following  anecdote, 
related  by  Mr.  Vanderford.  This  officer  resided,  for  several  months 
after  his  shipwreck,  with  Tanoa,  King  of  Ambau.  During  this  time 
there  was  a  great  feast,  at  which  many  chiefs  were  present,  who  re- 
mained to  sleep.  Before  the  close  of  the  evening  amusements,  one  of 
them  had  recounted  the  circumstances  of  his  killing  a  neighbouring 
chief.  During  the  night  he  had  occasion  to  leave  the  house,  and  his 
superstition  led  him  to  believe  that  he  saw  the  ghost  of  his  victim,  at 
which  he  threw  his  club,  and,  as  he  asserted,  killed  it.  Returning  to  the 
house,  he  aroused  the  king  and  all  the  other  inmates,  to  whom  he  re- 
lated what  he  had  done.  The  occurrence  was  considered  by  all  as 
highly  important,  and  formed  the  subject  of  due  deliberation.  In  the 
morning  the  club  was  found,  when  it  was  taken,  with  great  pomp  and 
parade,  to  the  mbure,  where  it  was  deposited  as  a  memorial.  All 
seemed  to  consider  the  killing  of  the  spirit  as  a  total  annihilation  of  the 

Among  other  forms  of  this  superstition  regarding  spirits,  is  that  of 
transmigration.  Those  who  hold  it,  think  that  spirits  wander  about 
the  villages  in  various  shapes,  and  can  make  themselves  visible  or  in- 
visible at  pleasure;  that  there  are  particular  places  to  which  they 
resort,  and  in  passing  these  they  are  accustomed  to  make  a  propitiatory 



offering  of  food  or  cloth.  This  form  of  superstition  is  the  cause  of  an 
aversion  to  go  abroad  at  night,  and  particularly  when  it  is  dark. 

It  is  also  a  general  belief,  that  the  spirit  of  a  celebrated  chief  may, 
after  death,  enter  into  some  young  man  of  the  tribe,  and  animate  him 
to  deeds  of  valour.  Persons  thus  distinguished  are  pointed  out  as 
highly  favoui'ed ;  in  consequence,  they  receive  great  respect,  and  their 
opinions  are  treated  with  much  consideration,  besides  which,  they  have 
many  personal  privileges. 

In  general,  the  passage  from  life  to  death  is  considered  as  one  from 
pain  to  happiness,  and  I  was  informed,  that  nine  out  of  ten  look  for- 
ward to  it  with  anxiety,  in  order  to  escape  from  the  infirmities  of  old 
age,  or  the  sufferings  of  disease. 

The  deities  whom  we  have  named  are  served  by  priests,  called 
ambati,  who  are  worshipped  in  buildings  denominated  mbure,  or  spirit- 
houses.  Of  such  buildings  each  town  has  at  least  one,  and  often 
several,  which  serve  also  for  entertaining  strangers,  as  well  as  for 
holding  councils  and  other  public  meetings.  In  these  mbures,  images 
are  found ;  but  these,  although  much  esteemed  as  ornaments,  and  held 
sacred,  are  not  worshipped  as  idols.  They  are  only  produced  on  great 
occasions,  such  as  festivals,  &c. 

The  ambati,  or  priests,  have  great  influence  over  the  people,  who 
consult  them  on  all  occasions,  but  are  generally  found  acting  in  concert 


with  the  chiefs,  thus  forming  a  union  of  power  which  rules  the  islands. 
Each  chief  has  his  annbati,  who  attends  him  wherever  he  goes.  The 
people  are  grossly  superstitious,  and  there  are  few  of  their  occupations 
in  which  the  ambati  is  not  more  or  less  concerned.  He  is  held  sacred 
within  his  own  district,'  being  considered  as  the  representative  of  the 
kalou,  or  spirit.  Mr.  Hunt  informed  me,  that  the  natives  seldom 
separate  the  idea  of  the  god  from  that  of  his  priest,  who  is  viewed  with 
almost  divine  reverence.  My  own  observations,  however,  led  to  the 
conclusion,  that  it  is  more  especially  the  case  at  Somu-somu,  where 
Mr.  Hunt  resides,  and  where  the  natives  are  more  savage,  if  possible, 
in  their  customs,  than  those  of  the  other  islands.  If  intercourse  with 
white  men  has  produced  no  other  effect,  it  has  lessened  their  reverence 
for  the  priesthood  ;  for,  wherever  they  have  foreign  visiters,  there  may 
be  seen  a  marked  change  in  this  respect. 

The  office  of  ambati  is  usually  hereditary,  but  in  some  cases  may 
be  considered  as  self-chosen.  Thus,  when  a  priest  dies  without  male 
heirs,  some  one,  who  is  ambitious  to  succeed  him,  and  desirous  of 
leading  an  idle  life,  will  strive  for  the  succession.  To  acccomplish 
this  end,  he  will  cunningly  assume  a  mysterious  air,  speaking  inco- 
herently, and  pretending  that  coming  events  have  been  foretold  him 
by  the  kalou,  whom  he  claims  to  have  seen  and  talked  with.  If  he 
should  have  made  a  prediction  in  relation  to  a  subject  in  which  the 
people  take  an  anxious  interest,  and  with  which  the  event  happens  to 
correspond,  the  belief  that  his  pretensions  are  well  founded  is  adopted. 
Before  he  is  acknowledged  as  ambati,  he,  however,  is  made  to  undergo 
a  further  trial,  and  is  required  to  show  publicly  that  the  kalou  is  enter- 
ing into  him.  The  proof  of  this  is  considered  to  lie  in  certain  shiver- 
ings,  which  appear  to  be  involuntary,  and  in  the  performance  of  which 
none  but  an  expert  juggler  could  succeed. 

I  had  an  opportunity,  while  at  Levuka,  of  seeing  a  performance  of 
this  description.  Whippy  gave  me  notice  of  it,  having  ascertained 
that  the  offering  which  precedes  the  consultation,  was  in  preparation. 
This  offering  consisted  of  a  hog,  a  basket  of  yams,  and  a  quantity  of 
bananas.  In  this  case  the  ambati  had  received  notice  that  he  was  to 
be  consulted,  and  was  attached  to  the  person  of  Seru,  (Tanoa's  son,) 
for  whose  purposes  the  prophetic  intervention  was  needed. 

On  such  occasions  the  chiefs  dress  in  the  morning  in  their  gala 
habits,  and  proceed  with  much  ceremony  to  the  mbure,  where  the 
priest  is.  On  some  occasions,  previous  notice  is  given  him  ;  at  other 
times  he  has  no  warning  of  their  coming,  until  he  receives  the  offering. 

The  amount  of  this  offering  depends  upon  the  inclination  of  the 
party  who  makes  it.     The  chiefs  and  people  seat  themselves  promiscu- 


ously  in  a  semicircle,  the  open  side  of  which  is  occupied  by  the  person 
who  prepares  the  ava.  This  mode  of  sitting  is  intended  as  an  act  of 
humihation  on  the  part  of  the  chiefs,  which  is  considered  as  acceptable 
to  the  gods.  When  all  is  prepared,  the  principal  chief,  if  the  occasion 
be  a  great  one,  presents  a  whale's  tooth.  The  priest  receives  this  in 
his  hands,  and  contemplates  it  steadily,  with  downcast  eyes,  remaining 
perfectly  quiet  for  some  time.  In  a  few  minutes  distortions  begin  to 
be  visible  in  his  face,  indicating,  as  they  suppose,  that  the  god  is  enter- 
ing into  his  body.  His  limbs  next  show  a  violent  muscular  action, 
which  increases  until  his  whole  frame  appears  convulsed,  and  trembles 
as  if  under  the  influence  of  an  ague  fit ;  his  eyeballs  roll,  and  are  dis- 
tended ;  the  blood  seems  rushing  with  violence  to  and  from  his  head ; 
tears  start  from  his  eyes;  his  breast  heaves;  his  lips  grow  livid,  and 
his  utterance  confused.  In  short,  his  whole  appearance  is  that  of  a 
maniac.  Finally,  a  profuse  perspiration  streams  from  every  pore,  by 
which  he  is  relieved,  and  the  symptoms  gradually  abate ;  after  this,  he 
again  sinks  into  an  attitude  of  quiet,  gazing  about  him  from  side  to 
side,  until  suddenly  striking  the  ground  with  a  club,  he  thus  announces 
that  the  god  has  departed  from  him.  Whatever  the  priest  utters  while 
thus  excited,  is  received  as  a  direct  response  of  the  gods  to  the  prayers 
of  those  who  made  the  offering.  The  provisions  of  which  the  offering 
is  composed  are  now  shared  out,  and  ava  prepared.  These  are  eaten 
and  drunk  in  silence.  The  priest  partakes  of  the  feast,  and  always  eats 
voraciously,  supplying,  as  it  were,  the  exhaustion  he  has  previously 
undergone.  It  is  seldom,  however,  that  his  muscles  resume  at  once  a 
quiescent  state,  and  they  more  usually  continue  to  twitch  and  tremble 
for  some  time  afterwards. 

When  the  candidate  for  the  office  of  ambati  has  gone  successfully 
through  such  a  ceremony,  and  the  response  he  gives  as  from  the  god 
is  admitted  to  be  correct,  he  is  considered  as  qualified  to  be  a  priest, 
and  takes  possession  of  the  mbure.  It  is,  however,  easily  to  be  seen, 
that  it  is  the  chief  who  in  fact  makes  the  appointment.  The  indi- 
vidual chosen  is  always  on  good  terms  with  him,  and  is  but  his  tool. 
The  purposes  of  both  are  accomplished  by  a  good  understanding 
between  them.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  those  who  exercise  the 
office  of  ambati,  and  go  through  the  actions  just  mentioned,  are  con- 
summate jugglers ;  but  they  often  become  so  much  affected  by  their 
own  efforts,  that  the  motions  of  the  muscles  become  in  reality  involun- 
tary, and  they  have  every  appearance  of  being  affected  by  a  super- 
natural agency. 

By  the  dexterity  with  which  the  ambati  perform  their  juggling 
performances,  they  acquire  great  influence  over  the  common  people; 



but,  as  before  remarked,  they  are  merely  the  instruments  of  the  chiefs. 
When  the  latter  are  about  going  to  battle,  or  engaging  in  any  other 
important  enterprise,  they  desire  the  priest  to  let  the  spirit  enter  him 
forthwith,  making  him,  at  the  same  time,  a  present.  The  priest 
speedily  begins  to  shake  and  shiver,  and  ere  long  communicates  the 
will  of  the  god,  which  always  tallies  with  the  wishes  of  the  chief.  It 
sometimes  happens  that  the  priest  fails  in  exciting  himself  to  convul- 
sive action ;  but  this,  among  a  people  so  wrapt  in  superstition,  can 
always  be  ingeniously  accounted  for:  the  most  usual  mode  of  excusing 
the  failure,  is  to  say  that  the  kalou  is  dissatisfied  with  the  offering. 

The  chiefs  themselves  admitted,  and  Whippy  informed  me,  that 
they  have  little  respect  for  the  power  of  the  priests,  and  use  them 
merely  to  govern  the  people.  The  ambati  are  generally  the  most 
shrewd  and  intelligent  members  of  the  community,  and  the  reasons  for 
their  intimate  union  with  the  chiefs  are  obvious :  without  the  influence 
of  the  superstition  of  which  they  are  the  agents,  the  chief  would  be 
unable  successfully  to  rule ;  while  without  support  from  the  authority 
of  the  chief,  the  ambati  could  scarcely  practise  their  mummeries  with- 
out detection. 

The  priests,  when  their  services  are  not  wanted  by  the  chiefs,  are 
sometimes  driven  to  straits  for  food.  In  such  cases  they  have  recourse 
to  the  fears  of  the  people,  and  among  other  modes  of  intimidation, 
threaten  to  eat  them  if  their  demands  are  not  complied  with.  To  give 
force  to  the  menace,  they  pretend  to  have  had  communication  with 
the  god  in  dreams,  and  assemble  the  people  to  hear  the  message  of  the 
deity.  This  message  is  always  portentous  of  evil ;  the  simple  natives 
are  thus  induced  to  make  propitiatory  offerings,  which  the  priest 
applies  to  his  (5wn  use. 


The  priest  at  Levuka  pretends  to  receive  oracles  from  a  miniature 
mbure,  an  engine  of  superstition  of  the  form  represented  in  the. figure, 

VOL.  III.  H2  12 

90  CUSTOMS    OF    THE    F  E  E  J  E  E    GROUP. 

which  he  keeps  behind  a  screen  in  the  spirit-house.  It  is  about  four 
feet  high ;  the  base  is  about  fifteen  inches  square ;  it  is  hollow  within, 
has  an  ear  on  one  side  of  it,  and  a  mouth  and  nose  on  the  other. 

This  oracle  is  covered  with  scarlet  and  white  seeds,  about  the  size 
of  a  large  pea,  which  are  stuck  upon  it  in  fantastic  figures  with  gum. 
To  the  priest  this  is  a  labour-saving  machine;  for,  on  ordinary  occa- 
sions, instead  of  going  through  the  performance  we  have  described,  he 
merely  whispers  in  the  ear  of  the  model,  and  pretends  to  receive  an 
answer  by  applying  his  own  ear  to  its  mouth. 

The  occasions  on  which  the  priests  are  required  to  shake,  are 
usually  of  the  following  kinds:  to  implore  good  crops  of  yams  and 
tare ;  on  going  to  battle ;  for  propitious  voyages  ;  for  rain  ;  for  storms, 
to  drive  boats  and  ships  ashore,  in  order  that  the  natives  may  seize  the 
property  they  are  freighted  with ;  and  for  the  destruction  of  their 

When  the  prayers  offered  are  for  a  deliverance  from  famine,  the 
priest  directs  the  people  to  return  to  their  houses,  in  the  name  of 
Ndengei,  who  then  at  his  instance  is  expected  to  turn  himself  over,  in 
which  case  an  earthquake  ensues,  which  is  to  be  followed  by  a  season 
of  fertility. 

When  it  is  determined  to  ofl'er  a  sacrifice,  the  people  are  assembled 
and  addressed  by  a  chief.  A  time  is  then  fixed  for  the  ceremony,  until 
which  time  a  taboo  is  laid  upon  pigs,  turtles,  &c.  On  the  appointed 
day,  each  man  brings  his  quota  of  provisions,  and  a  whale's  tooth  if 
he  have  one.  The  chief,  accompanied  by  the  others,  approaches  the 
mbure,  and  while  he  offers  up  his  prayers,  the  people  present  their 
gifts.  The  latter  then  return  to  their  houses,  and  the  offering  is  dis- 
tributed by  the  priest. 

When  a  chief  wishes  to  supplicate  a  god  for  the  recovery  of  a  sick 
friend,  the  return  of  a  canoe,  or  any  other  desired  object,  he  takes  a 
root  of  ava  and  a  whale's  tooth  to  the  mbure,  and  offers  them  to  the 
priest.  The  latter  takes  the  whale's  tooth  in  his  hands,  and  then  goes 
through  the  operation  of  shaking,  (fee,  as  has  already  been  described. 

Besides  the  occasional  consultation  of  the  gods  through  the  ambati, 
there  are  stated  religious  festivals.  One  of  these,  which  is  said  to  be 
only  practised  in  districts  subject  to  Tui  Levuka,  takes  place  in  the 
month  of  November,  and  lasts  four  days.  At  its  commencement  an 
influential  matanivanua  (landholder)  proceeds  just  at  sunset  to  the 
outside  of  the  koro,  or  town,  where,  in  a  loud  voice,  he  invokes  the 
spirit  of  the  sky,  praying  for  good  crops  and  other  blessings.  This  is 
followed  by  a  general  beating  of  sticks  and  drums,  and  blowing  of 
conchs,  which  lasts  for  half  an  hour.     During  the  four  days,  the  men 


live  in  the  mbure,  when  they  feast  upon  the  balolo,*  a  curious  species 
of  salt-water  worm,  which  makes  its  appearance  at  this  season,  for  one 
day,  while  the  women  and  boj^s  remain  shut  up  in  the  houses.  No 
labour  is  permitted,  no  work  carried  on ;  and  so  strictly  is  this  rule 
observed,  that  not  even  a  leaf  is  plucked ;  and  the  offal  is  not  removed 
from  the  houses.  At  daylight  on  the  expiration  of  the  fourth  night,  the 
whole  town  is  in  an  uproar,  and  men  and  boys  scamper  about,  knock- 
ing with  clubs  and  sticks  at  the  doors  of  the  houses,  crying  out,  "  Sina- 
riba."  This  concludes  the  ceremony,  and  the  usual  routine  of  affairs 
goes  on  thenceforth  as  usual. 

At  Ambau  a  grand  festival  takes  place  at  the  ingathering  of  the 
fruits.  This  is  called  Batami  mbulu  (the  spirit  below  or  in  the  earth). 
On  this  occasion  a  great  feast  is  held,  and  the  king,  chiefs,  and  people 
walk  in  procession,  with  great  pomp  and  ceremony,  to  Viwa,  where 
they  pay  homage  to  the  spirit.  I  was  unable  to  obtain  further  details 
of  this  festival,  but  its  object  was  explained  to  be  a  return  of  thanks  for 
the  fruits  of  the  earth. 

The  marriages  of  the  Feejeeans  are  sanctioned  by  religious  ceremo- 
nies, and,  among  the  high  chiefs,  are  attended  with  much  form  and 
parade.  As  at  all  other  ceremonies,  ava  drinking  forms  an  essential 
part.  The  ambati,  or  priest,  takes  a  seat,  having  the  bridegroom  on  his 
right  and  the  bride  on  the  left  hand.  He  then  invokes  the  protection  of 
the  god  or  spirit  upon  the  bride,  after  which  he  leads  her  to  the  bride- 
groom, and  joins  their  hands,  with  injunctions  to  love,  honour,  and 
obey,  to  be  faithful  and  die  with  each  other. 

During  this  ceremony,  the  girls  are  engaged  in  chewing  the  ava,  on 
which  the  priest  directs  the  water  to  be  poured,  and  cries  out  "  Ai 
sevu."  He  then  calls  upon  all  the  gods  of  the  town  or  island.  He 
takes  care  to  make  no  omission,  lest  the  neglected  deity  should  inflict 
injury  on  the  couple  he  has  united.  He  concludes  the  ceremony  by 
calling  out  "  Mana"  (it  is  finished) ;  to  which  the  people  respond 
"  Ndina"  (it  is  true). 

For  the  marriage  of  a  woman,  the  consent  of  her  father,  mother, 
and  brother  is  required,  and  must  be  asked  by  the  intended  husband. 
Even  if  the  father  and  mother  assent,  the  refusal  of  the  brother  will 
prevent  the  marriage;  but,  with  his  concurrence,  it  may  take  place, 
even  if  both  father  and  mother  oppose.  In  asking  a  woman  in  mar- 
riage, rolls  of  tapa,  whales'  teeth,  provisions,  &c.,  are  sometimes  pre- 

*  The  balolo  is  obtained  at  Wakaia,  and  is  eaten  both  cooked  and  raw,  as  suits  the  fancy, 
and  from  it  November  receives  its  name. 


sented  to  the  parents.  The  acceptance  of  these  signifies  that  the  suit 
is  favourably  received ;  their  rejection  is  a  refusal  of  the  suit. 

If  the  proposals  of  the  young  man  are  received,  he  gives  notice  of  it 
to  his  own  relations,  who  take  presents  to  his  betrothed.  Her  own 
relations,  by  way  of  dowry,  give  her  a  stone-chopper  (matawiwi)  and 
two  tapa-sticks  (eki),  after  which  the  marriage  may  take  place. 

Among  the  common  people  the  marriage  rites  are  less  ceremonious 
than  those  of  the  chiefs.  The  priest  of  the  tribe  comes  to  the  house, 
when  he  is  presented  with  a  whale's  tooth  and  a  bowl  of  ava,  and 
making  a  sevu-sevu  (prayer),  invokes  happiness  upon  the  union.  The 
bride's  near  relations  then  present  her  with  a  large  petticoat  (licolib), 
and  the  more  distant  relatives  make  gifts  of  tapas,  mats,  and  provisions. 

Every  man  may  have  as  many  wives  as  he  can  maintain,  and  the 
chiefs  have  many  betrothed  to  them  at  an  early  age,  for  the  purpose 
of  extending  their  political  connexions  by  bonds  which,  according  to 
their  customs,  cannot  be  overlooked. 

The  daughters  of  chiefs  are  usually  betrothed  early  in  life.  If  the 
bridegroom  refuses  to  carry  the  contract  into  effect,  it  is  considered 
as  a  great  insult,  and  he  may  lay  his  account  to  have  a  contest  with 
her  relations  and  friends.  If  the  betrothed  husband  die  before  the 
girl  grows  up,  his  next  brother  succeeds  to  his  rights  in  this  respect. 
Many  of  the  marriages  in  high  life  are  the  result  of  mutual  attachment, 
and  are  preceded  by  a  courtship,  presents,  &c.  The  parties  may  be 
frequently  seen,  as  among  us,  walking  arm-in-arm  after  they  are 
engaged.  Forced  marriages  sometimes  occur,  although  they  are  by 
no  means  frequent  in  this  class;  in  such  instances  suicide  is  occasion- 
ally the  consequence.  A  case  of  this  sort  had  occurred  previous  to 
our  arrival,  when  a  daughter  of  the  chief  of  Ovolau  killed  herself  by 
jumping  off  a  precipice  behind  the  town,  because  she  had  been  forced 
to  marry  a  brother  of  Tanoa.  The  females  of  the  lower  classes  have 
no  such  delicate  scruples.  Among  them,  marriages  are  mere  matters 
of  bargain,  and  wives  are  purchased  and  looked  upon  as  property  in 
most  parts  of  the  group.  The  usual  price  is  a  whale's  tooth,  or  a 
musket;  and  this  once  paid,  the  husband  has  an  entire  right  to  the 
person  of  the  wife,  whom  he  may  even  kill  and  eat  if  he  feel  so  dis- 
posed. Young  women,  until  purchased,  belong  to  the  chief  of  the 
village,  who  may  dispose  of  them  as  he  thinks  best.  Elopements,  how- 
ever, sometimes  take  place,  when  a  marriage  is  opposed  from  difference 
of  rank  or  other  cause,  when  the  parties  flee  to  some  neighbouring 
chief,  whom  they  engage  to  intercede  and  bring  about  a  reconciliation. 

Wives  are  faithful  to  their  husbands  rather  from  fear  than  from 


affection.  If  detected  in  infidelity,  the  wonnan  is  not  unfrequently 
knocked  on  the  head,  or  nnade  a  slave  for  life.  The  man  tnay  also  be 
treated  in  the  same  manner;  but  this  punishment  may  also  consist  in 
what  is  called  suabi.  This  is  a  forfeiture  of  his  lands,  which  is  sig- 
nified by  sticking  reeds  into  the  ground.  These  are  bound  together  by 
knots,  so  as  to  form  tripods.  If  the  offender  wishes  to  regain  his  lands, 
he  must  purchase  the  good-will  of  the  offended  party  by  presents.  In 
some  cases,  the  friends  of  the  injured  party  seize  the  wife  of  the 
offender,  and  give  her  to  the  aggrieved  husband.  There  are  also  other 
modes  in  which  a  husband  revenges  himself  for  the  infidelity  of  his 
wife,  which  do  not  admit  of  description. 

We  have  seen  that  the  extent  to  which  polygamy  is  carried  is 
limited  only  by  the  will  of  the  man  and  his  means  of  maintaining  his 
wives.  The  latter  are  almost  completely  slaves,  and  usually,  by  the 
strict  discipline  of  the  husband,  live  peaceably  together.  The  house- 
hold is  under  the  charge  of  the  principal  wife,  and  the  others  are 
required  to  yield  to  her  control.  If  they  misbehave,  they  are  tied  up, 
put  in  irons,  or  flogged. 

The  birth  of  the  first  child  is  celebrated  by  a  feast  on  the  natal  day; 
another  feast  takes  place  four  days  afterwards,  and  another  in  ten  days, 
when  suitable  presents  are  made  to  the  young  couple. 

Parturition  is  not  usually  severe,  and  some  women  have  been  known 
to  go  to  work  within  an  hour  after  delivery.  Others,  however,  remain 
under  the  nurse's  care  for  months.  It  is  the  prevailing  opinion  that 
hard  work  makes  the  delivery  more  easy.  After  childbirth  the  women 
usually  remain  quiet,  and  live  upon  a  diet  composed  of  young  taro-tops, 
for  from  four  to  eight  days,  after  which  they  bathe  constantly. 

Midwifery  is  a  distinct  profession,  exercised  by  women  in  all  the 
towns,  and  they  are  said  to  be  very  skilful,  performing  operations 
which  are  among  us  considered  as  surgical.  Abortion  is  prevalent, 
and  nearly  half  of  those  conceived  are  supposed  to  be  destroyed  in  this 
manner,  usually  by  the  command  of  the  father,  at  whose  instance  the 
wife  takes  herbs  which  are  known  to  produce  this  effect.  If  this  do 
not  succeed,  the  accoucheur  is  employed  to  strangle  the  child,  and 
bring  it  forth  dead. 

A  child  is  rubbed  with  turmeric  as  soon  as  it  is  born,  which  they 
consider  strengthening.  It  is  named  immediately,  by  some  relative  or 
friend.  If,  through  neglect  or  accident,  a  name  should  not  be  forth- 
with given,  the  child  would  be  considered  as  an  outcast,  and  be 
destroyed  by  the  mother. 

Girls  reach  the  age  of  puberty  when  about  fourteen  years  old,  and 
boys  when  from  seventeen  to  eighteen.     This  period  in  a  girl's  life  is 


duly  celebrated  by  her ;  for  which  purpose  she  requests  the  loan  of  a 
house  from  a  friend,  and  takes  possession  of  it,  in  company  with  a 
number  of  young  girls.  The  townspeople  supply  them  with  provisions 
for  ten  days,  during  which  they  anoint  themselves  with  turmeric  and 
oil.  At  the  expiration  of  this  time,  they  all  go  out  to  fish,  and  are 
furnished  by  the  men  with  provisions. 

The  only  general  fact  to  be  derived  from  the  various  opinions  in 
relation  to  the  spirits  of  the  dead,  which  have  been  stated  in  the  way 
we  received  them,  is,  that  a  belief  in  a  future  state  is  universally 
entertained  by  the  Feejeeans.  In  some  parts  of  the  group,  this  has 
taken  the  following  form,  which,  if  not  derived  from  intercourse  with 
the  whites,  is  at  least  more  consistent  with  revealed  truth  than  any  of 
those  previously  recorded.  Those  who  hold  this  opinion,  say  that  all 
the  souls  of  the  departed  will  remain  in  their  appointed  place,  until  the 
world  is  destroyed  by  fire  and  a  new  one  created  ;  that  in  the  latter 
all  things  will  be  renovated,  and  to  it  they  will  again  be  sent  to  dwell 

This  belief  in  a  future  state,  guided  by  no  just  notions  of  religious 
or  moral  obligation,  is  the  source  of  many  abhorrent  practices. 
Among  these  are  the  custom  of  putting  their  parents  to  death  when 
they  are  advanced  in  years;  suicide;  the  immolation  of  wives  at  the 
funeral  of  their  husbands,  and  human  sacrifices. 

It  is  among  the  most  usual  occurrences,  that  a  father  or  a  mother 
will  notify  their  children  that  it  is  time  for  themio  die,  or  that  a  son 
shall  give  notice  to  his  parents  that  they  are  becoming  a  burden  to 
him.  In  either  case,  the  relatives  and  friends  are  collected,  and 
informed  of  the  fact.  A  consultation  is  then  held,  which  generally 
results  in  the  conclusion,  that  the  request  is  to  be  complied  with,  in 
which  case  they  fix  upon  a  day  for  the  purpose,  unless  it  should  be 
done  by  the  party  whose  fate  is  under  deliberation.  The  day  is 
usually  chosen  at  a  time  when  yams  or  taro  are  I'ipe,  in  order  to  fur- 
nish materials  for  a  great  feast,  called  mburua.  The  aged  person  is 
then  asked,  whether  he  will  prefer  to  be  strangled  before  his  burial  or 
buried  alive.  When  the  appointed  day  arrives,  the  relatives  and 
friends  bring  tapas,  mats,  and  oil,  as  presents.  They  are  received  as 
at  other  funeral  feasts,  and  all  mourn  together  until  the  time  for  the 
ceremony  arrives.  The  aged  person  then  proceeds  to  point  out  the 
place  where  the  grave  is  to  be  dug ;  and  while  some  are  digging  it, 
the  others  put  on  a  new  maro  and  turbans.  When  the  grave  is  dug, 
which  is  about  four  feet  deep,  the  person  is  assisted  into  it,  while  the 
relatives  and  friends  begin  their  lamentations,  and  proceed  to  weep 
and  cut  themselves  as  they  do  at  other  funerals.     All  then  proceed  to 


take  a  parting  kiss,  after  which  the  living  body  is  covered  up,  first 
with  mats  and  tapa  wrapped  around  the  head,  and  then  with  sticks 
and  earth,  which  are  trodden  down.  When  this  has  been  done,  all 
retire,  and  are  tabooed,  as  will  be  stated  in  describing  their  ordinary- 
funerals.  The  succeeding  night,  the  son  goes  privately  to  the  grave, 
and  lays  upon  it  a  piece  of  ava-root,  which  is  called  the  vei-tala  or 

Mr.  Hunt,  one  of  the  missionaries,  had  been  a  witness  of  several  of 
these  acts.  On  one  occasion,  he  w^as  called  upon  by  a  young  man, 
who  desired  that  he  would  pray  to  his  spirit  for  his  mother,  who  was 
dead.  Mr.  Hunt  was  at  first  in  hopes  that  this  would  afford  him  an 
opportunity  of  forwarding  their  great  cause.  On  inquiry,  the  young 
man  told  him  that  his  brothers  and  himself  were  just  going  to  bury 
her.  Mr.  Hunt  accompanied  the  young  man,  telling  him  he  would 
follow  in  the  procession,  and  do  as  he  desired  him,  supposing,  of 
course,  the  corpse  would  be  brought  along  ;  but  he  now  met  the  pro- 
cession, when  the  young  man  said  that  this  was  the  funeral,  and 
pointed  out  his  mother,  who  was  walking  along  with  them,  as  gay  and 
lively  as  any  of  those  present,  and  apparently  as  much  pleased.  Mr. 
Hunt  expressed  his  surprise  to  the  young  man,  and  asked  how  he 
could  deceive  him  so  much  by  saying  his  mother  was  dead,  when  she 
was  alive  and  well.  He  said,  in  reply,  that  they  had  made  her  death- 
feast,  and  were  now  going  to  bury  her ;  that  she  was  old ;  that  his 
brother  and  himself  had  thought  she  had  lived  long  enough,  and  it  was 
time  to  bury  her,  to  which  she  had  willingly  assented,  and  they  were 
about  it  now.  He  had  come  to  Mr.  Hunt  to  ask  his  prayers,  as  they 
did  those  of  the  priest.  He  added,  that  it  was  from  love  for  his 
mother  that  he  had  done  so ;  that,  in  consequence  of  the  same  love, 
they  were  now  going  to  bury  her,  and  that  none  but  themselves  could 
or  ought  to  do  so  saci'ed  an  office !  Mr.  Hunt  did  all  in  his  power  to 
prevent  so  diabolical  an  act;  but  the  only  reply  he  received  was,  that 
she  was  their  mother,  and  they  were  her  children,  and  they  ought  to 
put  her  to  death.  On  reaching  the  grave,  the  mother  sat  down,  when 
they  all,  including  children,  grandchildren,  relations,  and  friends,  took 
an  affectionate  leave  of  her ;  a  rope,  made  of  twisted  tapa,  was  then 
passed  twice  around  her  neck  by  her  sons,  who  took  hold  of  it,  and 
strangled  her ;  after  which  she  was  put  into  her  grave,  with  the  usual 
ceremonies.  They  returned  to  feast  and  mourn,  after  which  she  was 
entirely  forgotten  as  though  she  had  not  existed. 

Mr.  Hunt,  after  giving  me  this  anecdote,  surprised  me  by  express- 
ing his  opinion  that  the  Feejeeans  were  a  kind  and  affectionate  people 
to  their  parents,  adding,  that  he  was  assured  by  many  of  them  that 


they  considered  this  custom  as  so  great  a  proof  of  affection  that  none 
but  children  could  be  found  to  perform  it.  The  same  opinion  was 
expressed  by  all  the  other  white  residents. 

A  short  time  before  our  arrival,  an  old  man  at  Levuka  did  some- 
thing to  vex  one  of  his  grandchildren,  who  in  consequence  threw 
stones  at  him.  The  only  action  the  old  man  took  in  the  case  was  to 
walk  away,  saying  that  he  had  now  lived  long  enough,  when  his 
grandchildren  could  stone  him  with  impunity.  He  then  requested  his 
children  and  friends  to  buiy  him,  to  which  they  consented.  A  feast 
was  made,  he  was  dressed  in  his  best  tapa,  and  his  face  blackened. 
He  was  then  placed  sitting  in  his  grave,  with  his  head  about  two  feet 
below  the  surface.  Tapa  and  mats  were  thrown  upon  him,  and  the 
earth  pressed  down ;  during  which  he  was  heard  to  complain  that  they 
hurt  him,  and  to  beg  that  they  would  not  press  so  hard. 

Self-immolation  is  by  no  means  rare,  and  they  believe  that  as  they 
leave  this  life,  so  will  they  remain  ever  after.  This  forms  a  powerful 
motive  to  escape  from  decrepitude,  or  from  a  crippled  condition,  by  a 
voluntary  death. 

Wives  are  often  strangled,  or  buried  alive,  at  the  funeral  of  their 
husbands,  and  generally  at  their  own  instance.  Cases  of  this  sort  have 
frequently  been  witnessed  by  the  white  residents.  On  one  occasion 
Whippy  drove  away  the  murderers,  rescued  the  woman,  and  carried 
her  to  his  own  house,  where  she  was  resuscitated.  So  far,  however, 
from  feeling  grateful  for  her  preservation,  she  loaded  him  with  abuse, 
and  ever  afterwards  manifested  the  most  deadly  hatred  towards  him. 
That  women  should  desire  to  accompany  their  husbands  in  death,  is 
by  no  means  strange,  when  it  is  considered  that  it  is  one  of  the  arti- 
cles of  their  belief,  that  in  this  way  alone  can  they  reach  the  realms 
of  bliss,  and  she  who  meets  her  death  with  the  greatest  devotedness, 
will  become  the  favourite  wife  in  the  abode  of  spirits. 

The  sacrifice  is  not,  however,  always  voluntary ;  but,  when  a 
woman  refuses  to  be  strangled,  her  relations  often  compel  her  to 
submit.  This  they  do  from  interested  motives ;  for,  by  her  death,  her 
connexions  become  entitled  to  the  property  of  her  husband.  Even  a 
delay  is  made  a  matter  of  reproach.  Thus,  at  the  funeral  of  the  late 
king,  Ulivou,  which  was  witnessed  by  Mr.  Cargill,  his  five  wives  and 
a  daughter  were  strangled.  The  principal  wife  delayed  the  ceremony, 
by  taking  leave  of  those  around  her ;  whereupon  Tanoa,  the  present 
king,  chid  her.  The  victim  was  his  own  aunt,  and  he  assisted  in 
putting  the  rope  around  her  neck,  and  strangling  her,  a  service  he  is 
said  to  have  rendered  on  a  former  occasion,  to  his  own  mother. 

Not  only  do  many  of  the  natives  desire  their  friends  to  put  them  to 


death  to  escape  decrepitude,  or  immolate  themselves  with  a  similar 
view,  but  families  have  such  a  repugnance  to  having  deformed  or 
maimed  persons  among  them,  that  those  who  have  met  with  such 
misfortunes,  are  almost  always  destroyed.  An  instance  of  this  sort 
was  related  to  me,  when  a  boy  whose  leg  had  been  bitten  off  by  a 
shark  was  strangled,  although  he  had  been  taken  care  of  by  one  of  the 
white  residents,  and  there  was  every  prospect  of  his  recovery.  No 
other  reason  was  assigned  by  the  perpetrators  of  the  deed,  than  that  if 
he  had  lived  he  would  have  been  a  disgrace  to  his  family,  in  conse- 
quence of  his  having  only  one  leg. 

When  a  native,  whether  man,  woman,  or  child,  is  sick  of  a  linger- 
ing disease,  their  relatives  will  either  wring  their  heads  off,  or  strangle 
them.  Mr.  Hunt  stated  that  this  was  a  frequent  custom,  and  cited  a 
case  where  he  had  with  difficulty  saved  a  servant  of  his  own  from 
such  a  fate,  who  afterwards  recovered  his  health. 

Formal  human  sacrifices  are  frequent.  The  victims  are  usually 
taken  from  a  distant  tribe,  and  when  not  supplied  by  war  or  violence, 
they  are  at  times  obtained  by  negotiation.  After  being  selected  for 
this  purpose,  they  are  often  kept  for  a  time  to  be  fattened.  When 
about  to  be  sacrificed,  they  are  compelled  to  sit  upon  the  ground,  with 
their  feet  drawn  under  their  thighs,  and  their  arms  placed  close  before 
them.  In  this  posture  they  are  bound  so  tightly  that  they  cannot  stir, 
or  move  a  joint.  They  are  then  placed  in  the  usual  oven,  upon  hot 
stones,  and  covered  with  leaves  and  earth,  where  they  are  roasted 
alive.  When  the  body  is  cooked,  it  is  taken  from  the  oven,  and  the 
face  painted  black,  as  is  done  by  the  natives  on  festal  occasions.  It  is 
then  carried  to  the  mbure,  where  it  is  offered  to  the  gods,  and  is  after- 
wards removed  to  be  cut  up  and  distributed,  to  be  eaten  by  the  people. 

Women  are  not  allowed  to  enter  the  mbure,  or  to  eat  human  flesh. 

Human  sacrifices  are  a  preliminary  to  almost  all  their  undertakings. 
When  a  new  mbure  is  built,  a  party  goes  out  and  seizes  the  first  pei'son 
they  meet,  whom  they  sacrifice  to  the  gods ;  when  a  large  canoe  is 
launched,  the  first  person,  man  or  woman,  whom  they  encounter,  is 
laid  hold  of  and  carried  home  for  a  feast. 

When  Tanoa  launches  a  canoe,  ten  or  more  men  are  slaughtered  on 
the  deck,  in  order  that  it  may  be  washed  with  human  blood. 

Human  sacrifices  are  also  among  the  rites  performed  at  the  funerals 
of  chiefs,  when  slaves  are  in  some  instances  put  to  death.  Their 
bodies  are  first  placed  in  the  grave,  and  upon  them  those  of  the  chief 
and  his  wives  are  laid. 

The  ceremotties  attendant  on  the  death  and  burial  of  a  great  chief, 
were  described  to  me  by  persons  who  had  witnessed  them.     When  his 

VOL.  III.  I  13 


last  moments  are  approaching,  his  friends  place  in  his  hands  two 
whale's  teeth,  which  it  is  supposed  he  will  need  to  throw  at  a  tree  that 
stands  on  the  road  to  the  regions  of  the  dead.  As  soon  as  the  last 
struggle  is  over,  the  friends  and  attendants  fill  the  air  with  their  lamen- 
tations. Two  priests  then  take  in  each  of  their  hands  a  reed  about 
eighteen  inches  long,  on  which  the  leaves  at  the  end  are  left,  and  with 
these  they  indicate  two  persons  for  grave-diggers,  and  mark  out  the 
place  for  the  grave.  The  spot  usually  selected  is  as  near  as  possible  to 
the  banks  of  a  stream.  The  grave-diggers  are  provided  with  man- 
grove-staves (tiri)  for  their  work,  and  take  their  positions,  one  at  the 
head,  the  other  at  the  foot  of  the  grave,  having  each  one  of  the  priests 
on  his  right  hand.  At  a  given  signal,  the  labourers,  making  three 
feints  before  they  strike,  stick  their  staves  into  the  ground,  while  the 
priests  twice  exchange  reeds,  repeating  Feejee,  Tonga  ;  Feejee,  Tonga. 
The  diggers  work  in  a  sitting  posture,  and  thus  dig  a  pit  sufficiently 
large  to  contain  the  body.  The  first  earth  which  is  removed  is  con- 
sidered as  sacred,  and  laid  aside. 

The  persons  who  have  dug  the  grave  also  wash  and  prepare  the 
body  for  interment,  and  they  are  the  only  persons  who  can  touch  the 
corpse  without  being  laid  under  a  taboo  for  ten  months.  The  body 
after  being  washed  is  laid  on  a  couch  of  cloth  and  mats,  and  carefully 
wiped.  It  is  then  dressed  and  decorated  as  the  deceased  was  in  life, 
when  preparing  for  a  great  assembly  of  chiefs :  it  is  first  anointed  with 
oil,  and  then  the  neck,  breast,  and  arms,  down  to  the  elbows,  are 
daubed  with  a  black  pigment;  a  white  bandage  of  native  cloth  is 
bound  around  the  head,  and  tied  over  the  temple  in  a  graceful  knot ;  a 
club  is  placed  in  the  hand,  and  laid  across  the  breast,  to  indicate  in  the 
next  world  that  the  deceased  was  a  chief  and  warrior.  The  body  is 
then  laid  on  a  bier,  and  the  chiefs  of  the  subject  tribes  assemble ;  each 
tribe  presents  a  whale's  tooth,  and  the  chief  or  spokesman  says :  "  This 
is  our  offering  to  the  dead  ;  we  are  poor  and  cannot  find  riches."  All 
now  clap  their  hands,  and  the  king  or  a  chief  of  rank  replies  :  "  Ai  mu- 
mundi  ni  mate,"  (the  end  of  death) ;  to  which  all  the  people  present 
respond,  "  e  dina,"  (it  is  true.)  The  female  friends  then  approach  and 
kiss  the  corpse,  and  if  any  of  his  wives  wish  to  die  and  be  buried  with 
him,  she  runs  to  her  brother  or  nearest  relative  and  exclaims,  "  I  wish 
to  die,  that  I  may  accompany  my  husband  to  the  land  v/here  his  spirit 
has  gone !  love  me,  and  make  haste  to  strangle  me,  that  I  may  over- 
take him  !"  Her  friends  applaud  her  purpose,  and  being  dressed  and 
decorated  in  her  best  clothes,  she  seats  herself  on  a  mat,  reclining  her 
head  on  the  lap  of  a  woman ;  another  holds  her  nostrils,  that  she  may 
not  breathe  through  them ;  a  cord,  made  by  twisting  fine  tapa  (masi). 


is  then  put  around  her  neck,  and  drawn  tight  by  four  or  five  strong 
men,  so  that  the  struggle  is  soon  over.  The  cord  is  left  tight,  and  tied 
in  a  bow-knot,  until  the  friends  of  the  husband  present  a  whale's  tooth, 
saying,  "  This  is  the  untying  of  the  cord  of  strangling."  The  cord  is 
then  loosed,  but  is  not  removed  from  the  neck  of  the  corpse. 

When  the  grave  is  finished,  the  principal  workman  takes  the  four 
reeds  used  by  the  priests,  and  passes  them  backwards  and  forwards 
across  each  other ;  he  then  hnes  the  pit  or  grave  with  fine  mats,  and 
lays  two  of  the  leaves  at  the  head  and  two  at  the  foot  of  the  grave;  on 
these  the  corpse  of  the  chief  is  placed,  with  two  of  his  wives,  one  on 
each  side,  having  their  right  and  left  hands,  respectively,  laid  on  his 
breast ;  the  bodies  are  then  wrapped  together  in  folds  of  native  cloth ; 
the  grave  is  then  filled  in,  and  the  sacred  earth  is  laid  on,  and  a  stone 
over  it.  All  the  men  who  have  had  any  thing  to  do  with  the  dead 
body  take  oflf  their  maro  or  masi,  and  rub  themselves  all  over  with  the 
leaves  of  a  plant  they  call  koaikoaia.  A  friend  of  the  parties  takes  new 
tapa,  and  clothes  them,  for  they  are  not  allowed  to  touch  any  thing, 
being  tabooed  persons.  At  the  end  of  ten  days,  the  head  chief  of  the 
tribe  provides  a  great  feast  (mburua),  at  which  time  the  tabooed  men 
again  scrub  themselves,  and  are  newly  dressed.  After  the  feast,  ava 
is  prepaiod  and  set  before  the  priest,  who  goes  through  many  incanta- 
tions, shiverings,  and  shakings,  and  prays  for  long  life  and  abundance 
of  children.  The  soul  of  the  deceased  is  now  enabled  to  quit  the  body 
and  go  to  its  destination.  During  these  ten  days,  all  the  women  in  the 
town  provide  themselves  with  long  whips,  knotted  with  shells ;  these 
they  use  upon  the  men,  inflicting  bloody  wounds,  which  the  men  retort 
by  flirting  from  a  piece  of  split  bamboo  little  hard  balls  of  clay. 

When  the  tabooed  person  becomes  tired  of  remaining  so  restricted, 
they  send  to  the  head  chief,  and  inform  him,  and  he  replies  that  he 
will  remove  the  taboo  whenever  they  please ;  they  then  send  him 
presents  of  pigs  and  other  provisions,  which  he  shares  among  the 
people.  The  tabooed  persons  then  go  into  a  stream  and  wash  them- 
selves, which  act  they  call  vuluvulu ;  they  then  catch  some  animal,  a 
pig  or  turtle,  on  which  they  wipe  their  hands :  it  then  becomes  sacred 
to  the  chief.  The  taboo  is  now  removed,  and  the  men  are  free  to 
work,  feed  themselves,  and  live  with  their  wives.  The  taboo  usually 
lasts  from  two  to  ten  months  in  the  case  of  chiefs,  according  to  their 
rank ;  in  the  case  of  a  petty  chief,  the  taboo  would  not  exceed  a 
month,  and  for  a  common  person,  not  more  than  four  days.  It  is 
generally  resorted  to  by  the  lazy  and  idle ;  for  during  this  time  they 
are  not  only  provided  with  food,  but  are  actually  fed  by  attendants,  or 


eat  their  food  from  the  ground.  On  the  death  of  a  chief,  a  taboo  is 
laid  upon  the  cocoa-nuts,  pigs,  &c.,  of  a  whole  district. 

Taking  off  a  taboo  is  attended  with  certain  ceremonies.  It  can  be 
done  by  none  but  a  chief  of  high  rank.  Presents  are  brought  to  the 
priest,  and  a  piece  of  ava,  which  is  brewed  and  drunk ;  he  then  makes 
a  prayer  (sevn-sevu),  and  the  ceremony  is  finished. 

In  laying  a  taboo,  a  stone  about  two  feet  in  length  is  set  up  before 
the  mbure,  and  painted  red  ;  ava  is  chewed ;  after  which  the  priest 
makes  a  prayer,  and  invokes  maledictions  on  the  heads  of  those  who 
shall  break  it.  Trees  that  are  tabooed  have  bands  of  cocoa-nut  or 
pandanus-leaves  tied  around  them,  and  a  stick  is  set  in  a  heap  of 
earth  near  by.  We  had  an  instance  of  this  at  the  time  of  our  arrival, 
when  we  found  all  the  cocoa-nuts  tabooed.  We  in  consequence  could 
obtain  none,  until  I  spoke  to  the  chiefs  of  Ambau,  who  removed  the 

To  the  funeral  ceremonies  we  have  described,  others  are  added,  in 
some  parts  of  the  group,  and  there  are  differences  in  some  of  the  details 
of  the  rites.  Thus,  at  Muthuata,  the  body  of  a  chief  is  usually  taken 
to  the  royal  mbure,  on  the  island  of  that  name,  to  be  interred.  The 
corpse,  instead  of  being  dressed  in  the  habiliments  of  life,  is  wrapped 
in  white  mats,  and  borne  on  a  wide  plank.  On  its  arrival  at  the 
mbure,  it  is  received  by  the  priest,  who  pronounces  an  eulogium  on 
his  character,  after  which  the  young  men  foi'm  themselves  into  two 
ranks,  between  which,  and  around  the  corpse,  the  rest  of  the  people 
pass  several  times. 

All  the  boys  who  have  arrived  at  a  suitable  age  are  now  circum- 
cised, and  many  boys  suffer  the  loss  of  their  little  fingers.  The  fore- 
skins and  fingers  are  placed  in  the  grave  of  the  chief.  When  this 
part  of  the  ceremony  is  over,  young  bread-fruit  trees  are  presented  by 
the  relatives  of  the  chief  to  the  boys,  whose  connexions  are  bound  to 
cultivate  them  until  the  boys  are  able  to  do  it  themselves.* 

The  strangulation  of  the  chief's  wives  follows ;  and  this  is  suc- 
ceeded by  a  farther  eulogium  of  the  deceased,  and  a  lament  for  the 
loss  his  people  have  sustained.  The  whole  is  concluded  by  a  great 
feast  of  hogs,  taro,  yams,  and  bananas. 

The  funerals  of  persons  of  lower  rank  are  of  course  far  less  ceremo- 
nious. The  body  is  wrapped  in  tapa  or  mats,  and  sometimes  sprinkled 
with  turmeric,  and  is  buried  in  a  sitting  posture,  just  below  the  surface 
of  the  ground.     Even  in  this  class  the  wife  generally  insists  on  being 

*  This  custom  has  an  important  influence  in  keeping  up  a  stock  of  this  important  source 
of  food,  and  may  have  originated  with  that  view. 


strangled.  Instances  are  now,  however,  beginning  to  occur,  in  which 
this  custom  is  not  persisted  in,  a  circumstance  which  seems  to  show 
that  the  dawn  of  civiUzation  is  breaking  upon  them. 

On  the  day  of  the  death,  a  feast  called  mburua  is  always  provided ; 
another  four  days  after,  called  boniva ;  and  a  third  at  the  end  of  ten 
days,  which  is  called  boniviti. 

The  usual  outward  sign  of  mourning  is  to  crop  the  hair  or  beard,  or 
very  rarely  both.  Indeed,  they  are  too  vain  of  these  appendages  to 
part  with  them  on  trifling  occasions ;  and  as  the  hair,  if  cut  off,  takes 
a  long  time  to  grow  again,  they  use  a  wig  as  a  substitute.  Some  of 
these  wigs  are  beautifully  made,  and  even  more  exact  imitations  of 
nature,  than  those  of  our  best  perruquiers. 

Another  mark  of  sorrow  is  to  cut  off  the  joints  of  the  small  toe  and 
Uttle  finger ;  and  this  is  not  done  only  as  a  mark  of  grief  or  a  token 
of  affection,  but  the  dismembered  joints  are  frequently  sent  to  families 
which  are  considered  wealthy,  and  who  are  able  to  reward  this  token 
of  sympathy  in  their  loss,  which  they  never  fail  to  do. 

Women  in  mourning  burn  their  skin  into  blisters,  as  is  the  practice 
also  in  other  groups  visited  by  us.  The  instrument  used  for  the  pur- 
pose is  a  piece  of  tapa  twisted  into  a  small  roll  and  ignited.  Marks 
thus  produced  may  be  seen  on  their  arms,  shoulders,  neck,  and  breast. 
This  custom  is  called  loloe  mate. 

The  eating  of  human  flesh  is  not  confined  to  cases  of  sacrifice  for 
religious  purposes,  but  is  practised  from  habit  and  taste.  The  exis- 
tence of  cannibalism,  independent  of  superstitious  notions,  has  been 
doubted  by  many.  There  can  be  no  question  that,  although  it  may 
have  originated  as  a  sacred  rite,  it  is  continued  in  the  Feejee  Group 
for  the  mere  pleasure  of  eating  human  flesh  as  a  food.  Their  fondness 
for  it  will  be  understood  from  the  custom  they  have  of  sending  por- 
tions of  it  to  their  friends  at  a  distance,  as  an  acceptable  present,  and 
the  gift  is  eaten,  even  if  decomposition  have  begun  before  it  is  re- 
ceived. So  highly  do  they  esteem  this  food,  that  the  greatest  praise 
they  can  bestow  on  a  delicacy  is  to  say  that  it  is  as  tender  as  a  dead 

Even  their  sacrifices  are  made  more  frequent,  not  merely  to  gratify 
feelings  of  revenge,  but  to  indulge  their  taste  for  this  horrid  food.  In 
respect  to  this  propensity,  they  affect  no  disguise ;  I  have  myself  fre- 
quently spoken  with  them  concerning  it,  and  received  but  one  answer, 
both  from  chiefs  and  common  people,  that  it  was  vinaka  (good). 

The  bodies  of  enemies  slain  in  battle  are  always  eaten.  Whippy 
told  me  that  he  saw,  on  one  occasion,  upwards  of  twenty  men  cooked; 
and  several  of  the  white  residents  stated  that  they  have  seen  bodies 


brought  from  such  a  distance  as  to  be  green  from  putrescence,  and  to 
have  the  flesh  dropping  from  the  bones,  which  were,  notwithstanding, 
eaten  with  greediness  and  apparent  pleasure. 

War,  however,  does  not  furnish  enough  of  this  food  to  satisfy  their 
appetite  for  it.  Stratagem  and  violence  are  resorted  to  for  obtaining 
it.  While  we  were  at  Levuka,  as  a  number  of  women  belonging  to 
the  village  were  engaged  in  picking  up  shells  and  fishing,  a  canoe 
belonging  to  the  Lasikaus,  or  fishermen,  in  passing  by  the  reef,  seized 
and  carried  off  two  of  them,  as  it  was  believed,  for  cannibal  purposes. 
When  1  heard  the  story  I  could  not  at  first  believe  it ;  but  it  was  con- 
firmed by  Tui  Levuka,  who  said  that  the  Lasikaus  frequently  stole 
women  from  the  reefs  for  the  purpose  of  eating  them. 

All  doubt,  however,  was  removed,  when  Mr.  Eld,  while  stationed 
at  the  observatory,  became  an  eye-witness  of  an  attempt  of  the  kind. 
The  daughter  of  the  Vi  Tonga*  chief,  with  some  of  her  companions, 
was  engaged  in  fishing  on  the  reef  in  a  small  canoe.  By  some  acci- 
dent the  canoe  was  swamped,  which  rendered  them  a  prize  to  whoever 
should  capture  them.  A  canoe  from  Ambau  had  watched  the  poor 
creatures  like  a  hawk,  and,  as  soon  as  the  accident  happened,  pounced 
upon  them.  The  men  in  the  canoe  succeeded  in  capturing  the  chief's 
daughter,  and .  forced  her  into  the  vessel.  When  near  the  shore,  how- 
ever, she  contrived  to  make  her  escape  by  jumping  overboard,  and 
reached  the  shore  before  they  could  overtake  her.  Clubs  and  spears 
were  thrown  at  her,  with  no  other  effect  than  a  slight  scratch  under 
the  arm,  and  a  bruise  on  her  shoulder.  On  the  beach  she  was  re- 
ceived by  her  friends,  who  stood  ready  to  protect  her,  upon  which 
the  Ambau  people  gave  up  the  pursuit. 

The  cannibal  propensity  is  not  limited  to  enemies  or  persons  of  a 
different  tribe,  but  they  will  banquet  on  the  flesh  of  their  dearest 
friends,  and  it  is  even  related,  that  in  times  of  scarcity,  families  will 
make  an  exchange  of  children  for  this  horrid  purpose. 

The  flesh  of  women  is  preferred  to  that  of  men,  and  they  consider 
the  flesh  of  the  arm  above  the  elbow,  and  of  the  thigh,  as  the  choicest 
parts.  The  women  are  not  allowed  to  eat  it  openly,  but  it  is  said  that 
the  wives  of  chiefs  do  partake  of  it  in  private.  It  is  also  forbidden  to 
the  kai-si,  or  common  people,  unless  there  be  a  great  quantity,  but  they 
have  an  opportunity  of  picking  the  bones. 

As  a  further  instance  of  these  cannibal  propensities,  and  to  show 
that  the  sacrifice  of  human  life  to  gratify  their  passions  and  appetites 
IS  of  almost  daily  occurrence,  a  feast  frequently  takes  place  among 

*  Vi  Tonga  is  a  town  immediately  below  the  point  on  which  the  observatory  was  placed. 


CUSTOMS    OF    THE    F  E  E  J  E  E    GROUP.  103 

the  chiefs,  to  which  each  is  required  to  bring  a  pig.  On  these  occa- 
sions Tanoa,  from  pride  and  ostentation,  always  furnishes  a  human 

A  whale's  tooth  is  about  the  price  of  a  human  life,  even  when  the 
party  slain  is  of  rank,  as  will  be  shown  by  the  following  anecdotes. 
Rivaletta,  the  youngest  son  of  Tanoa,  while  passing  along  the  north 
end  of  Ovolau  in  his  canoe,  descried  a  fishing  party.  He  at  once 
determined  to  possess  himself  of  what  they  had  taken,  and  for  this 
purpose  dashed  in  among  them,  and  fired  his  musket.  The  shot  killed 
a  young  man,  who  proved  to  be  a  nephew  of  Tui  Levuka,  the  chief  of 
Ovolau,  and  was  recognised  by  some  of  Rivaletta's  followers.  This 
discovery  did  not  prevent  their  carrying  the  body  to  Ambau  to  be 
feasted  upon ;  but,  in  order  to  prevent  it  from  being  known  there,  the 
face  was  disfigured  by  broiling  it  in  the  fire  in  the  canoe.  Tanoa, 
however,  soon  became  aware  of  the  fact,  and  forthwith  sent  a  whale's 
tooth  to  Tui  Levuka,  as  the  value  of  his  loss,  together  with  a  number 
of  little  fingers,  cut  from  the  people  of  Ambau,  as  a  propitiatory  offer- 
ing. The  remuneration  was  received  by  Tui  Levuka  as  sufficient, 
and  no  more  notice  was  taken  of  the  matter. 

Before  we  left  the  group,  an  inferior  chief  ran  away  with  one  of  the 
wives  of  Tui  Levuka.  The  latter  immediately  despatched  his  son  to 
the  town  where  the  chief  resided,  for  the  purpose  of  killing  the  ofl^ender, 
which  was  effected,  and  the  woman  brought  back.  Tui  Levuka  there- 
upon sent  a  whale's  tooth  and  some  tapa  to  the  principal  chief  of  the 
town,  and  the  affair  was  ended. 

When  they  set  so  little  value  on  the  lives  of  their  own  countrymen,  it 
is  not  to  be  expected  that  they  should  much  regard  those  of  foreigners. 
It  is  necessary,  therefore,  while  holding  intercourse  with  them,  to  be 
continually  guarded  against  their  murderous  designs,  which  they  are 
always  meditating  for  the  sake  of  the  property  about  the  person,  or  to 
obtain  the  body  for  food.  Several  recent  instances  are  related,  where 
crews  of  vessels  visiting  these  islands  have  been  put  to  death.  One  of 
these,  in  particular,  became  known  to  me,  and  led  to  certain  proceed- 
ings on  my  part,  which  will  form  an  important  part  of  the  following 

The  vessel  in  question  was  the  American  brig,  Charles  Doggett, 
Captain  Bachelor.  I  had  heard  of  the  attack  upon  her,  and  after 
Paddy  Connel  paid  me  his  first  visit,  of  which  I  have  before  spoken,  I 
learned  that  he  had  been  on  board  the  brig  at  the  time,  and  had  a  full 
knowledge  of  all  who  were  concerned  in  the  transaction.  I  therefore, 
on  his  next  visit,  questioned  him  in  relation  to  the  affair,  and  obtained 
the  following  particulars. 


In  the  month  of  August,  1834,  Paddy,  with  some  other  men,  was 
engaged  by  Captain  Bachelor  to  assist  in  getting  a  cargo  of  biche  de 
mar.  The  brig  then  went  to  Rewa,  where  the  captain  made  a  con- 
tract with  Vendovi,  a  chief  of  that  island,  and  Vasu  of  Kantavu,  for 
further  assistance  in  attaining  his  object.  Here  the  conduct  of  Vendovi, 
Thokanauto,  and  other  chiefs,  led  to  the  suspicion  that  some  mischief 
was  intended ;  Paddy  heard  rumours  of  the  great  value  of  the  articles 
on  board  the  brig,  accompanied  by  hints  that  the  crew  was  but  small, 
and  predictions  that  it  would  not  be  well  with  her.  He  also  found 
that  a  desire  was  evinced  that  he  should  not  go  further  in  the  vessel. 
In  consequence,  Paddy,  while  on  the  way  to  Kantavu,  mentioned  his 
suspicions  to  Captain  Bachelor,  and  advised  him  to  be  on  his  guard. 
When  they  arrived  at  Kantavu,  they  proceeded  to  a  small  island  near 
its  eastern  end,  where  the  biche  de  mar  house  was  erected,  and  a 
chief  of  the  island  was,  as  usual,  taken  on  board  as  a  hostage.  The 
day  after  he  came  on  board,  he  feigned  sickness,  and  was,  in  conse- 
quence, permitted  to  go  on  shore.  He  departed  with  such  unusual 
exhibitions  of  friendly  disposition,  as  served  to  confirm  Paddy's  pre- 
vious suspicions ;  but  he  felt  assured  that  all  would  be  safe  so  long  as 
the  captain  remained  on  board. 

On  the  following  morning,  (Sunday,)  Vendovi  came  off,  saying  that 
the  young  chief  was  very  sick,  and  he  wanted  the  captain  to  come  to 
the  biche  de  mar  house,  where  he  said  he  was,  to  give  him  some 
medicine.  In  this  house  eight  of  the  men  were  employed,  of  whom 
two  were  Sandwich  Islanders.  The  captain  was  preparing  to  go 
ashore  with  the  medicine,  when  Paddy  stepped  aft  to  him,  and  told 
him  that  to  go  on  shore  was  as  much  as  his  life  was  worth,  for  he  was 
sure  that  the  natives  intended  to  kill  him,  and  to  take  all  their  Hves. 
The  captain  in  consequence  remained  on  board,  but  the  mate  went  on 
shore,  and  took  with  him  the  bottle  of  medicine.  Vendovi  went  in  the 
boat,  and  landed  with  the  mate,  but  could  not  conceal  his  disappoint- 
ment that  the  captain  did  not  come  also.  Paddy  now  was  convinced, 
from  the  arrangements  that  had  been  made  to  get  the  people  and  boats 
away  from  the  brig,  that  the  intended  mischief  was  about  to  be  con- 
summated. He  therefore  kept  a  sharp  look-out  upon  the  shore,  and 
soon  saw  the  beginning  of  an  affray,  the  mate,  Mr.  Chitman,  killed, 
and  the  building  in  flames.  The  others  were  also  slain,  with  the  ex- 
ception of  James  Housman,  who  had  been  engaged  at  the  same  time 
with  Paddy,  and  who  swam  off,  and  was  taken  on  board.  Those  in 
the  brig  opened  a  fire  from  the  great  guns,  but  without  effect. 

On  the  following  day  Paddy  was  employed  to  bargain  with  the 
natives  for  the  bodies,  seven  of  which  were  brought  down  to  the  shore 

CUSTOMS    OF    THE    FEEJEE    GROUP.  ]05 

much  mutilated,  in  considei'ation  of  a  musket.  The  eighth,  a  negro, 
had  been  cooked  and  eaten.  Captain  Bachelor  had  the  bodies  sewed 
up  in  canvass,  and  thrown  overboard,  in  the  usual  manner.  They 
however  floated  again,  and  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  savages,  who,  as 
he  afterwards  understood,  devoured  them  all.  They  complained,  how- 
ever, that  they  did  not  like  them,  and  particularly  the  negro,  whose 
flesh  they  said  tasted  strong  of  tobacco.  The  brig  then  went  to 
Ovolau,  where  Paddy  left  her. 

In  addition,  Paddy  told  me  that  he  was  satisfied  that  all  the  chiefs 
of  Rewa  had  been  privy  to  the  plot,  particularly  the  brothers  of  Ven- 
dovi,  and  that  the  whole  plan  had  been  arranged  before  the  brig  left 
that  island.  Vendovi,  however,  was  the  person  who  had  actually  per- 
petrated the  outrage. 

Having  heard  this  statement,  I  determined  to  capture  Vendovi,  and 
asked  Paddy  if  he  would  carry  a  letter  immediately  to  Captain  Hudson, 
who  was  then,  with  the  Peacock,  at  Rewa.  After  some  hesitation  he 
agreed  to  do  it,  if  I  would  give  him  a  musket.  I  accordingly  prepared 
instructions  directing  Captain  Hudson  to  make  Vendovi  prisoner,  and 
despatched  Paddy  next  morning  in  a  canoe  for  Rewa. 








no  REWA. 

conspicuous.  The  approach  to  the  town  is  much  obstructed  by  reefs 
of  coral ;  and  the  water  being  shallow,  is  impassable  for  an  armed 
vessel.  The  island  is  connected  with  the  main  land  or  large  island,  by 
a  long  flat  of  coral,  which  is  fordable,  even  at  high  water,  and  is  in 
places  quite  bare  at  low  water.  One  is  at  a  loss  to  conceive  how  this 
place  could  have  acquired  its  strength  and  importance.  I  am  rather 
inclined  to  impute  it  to  the  enterprise  of  its  first  settlers,  and  the 
ascendency  given  it  by  the  accidental  aid  that  has  been  afibrded  its 
chiefs  by  the  whites,  who  came  among  them  and  joined  their  side. 
It  was,  probably,  at  first,  the  retreat  of  the  fishermen ;  and  from  their 
enterprise,  the  difficulties  they  had  to  encounter,  and  the  powerful 
connexions  they  have  formed  with  the  other  towns  and  districts,  it  is 
likely  that  their  rule  will  continue  until  the  people  shall  have  become 
civilized,  when,  from  the  want  of  internal  resources,  the  terror  of  its 
name  will  pass  away,  and  it  must  fall  to  the  rank  of  a  place  of  secon- 
dary importance. 

At  present  it  is  in  the  ascendency,  and  its  chiefs  have  a  high 
estimate  of  their  own  importance.  Thus,  while  I  was  at  Levuka,  I 
was  much  amused  by  a  question  put  me  by  Seru,  "  Why  I  had  not 
gone  with  my  ship  to  Ambau?  why  come  to  Levuka,  where  there 
were  no  gentlemen,  none  but  common  people  (kai-si)  1  all  the  gentle- 
men lived  at  Ambau." 

The  towns  of  Verata  and  Viwa  are  within  a  short  distance  of 
Ambau,  and  have  both  been  its  rivals.  At  each  of  these  some  fearful 
outrage  has  been  perpetrated  upon  trading  vessels,  for  which  the  guilty 
have  been  but  partially  punished.  The  chief  of  Viwa,  I  understood, 
had  made  it  his  boast  that  the  French  had  only  burned  a  few  of  his 
mud  huts,  which  he  could  shortly  build  again ;  that  it  would  give  a 
very  few  days  of  labour  to  his  slaves ;  and  that  he  would  cut  oflf  the 
next  vessel  that  came,  if  he  had  an  opportunity.  He  thinks  that  it 
was  a  very  cheap  purchase  to  get  so  much  property  for  so  little 
damage.  The  Ambau  people  also  spoke  vauntingly  of  having  given 
the  French  permission  to  destroy  Viwa,  as  it  was  nothing,  and  satis- 
fied the  Papalangis ;  but  they  did  not  intend  that  any  property  or  lives 
should  be  lost,  for  they  had  sent  to  inform  the  Viwa  people  that  the 
attack  was  to  be  made,  and  even  helped  them  to  remove  all  their 
valuables.  Viwa  is  not  so  large  a  town  as  Ambau,  but  is  built  on  a 
larger  island,  and  affords  more  conveniences  for  a  port. 

The  whole  bay  of  Ambau  is  well  shielded  by  extensive  coral  sea- 
reefs.  Here  the  launch  and  first  cutter  again  left  the  Peacock,  on 
their  way  to  the  island  of  Mbenga,  to  the  westward. 

Captain  Hudson,  after  anchoring,  sent  Lieutenant  Budd  to  the  town 

REWA.  Ill 

of  Rewa  for  the  purpose  of  communicating  with  the  king  and  chiefs, 
and  of  obtaining  the  services  of  Thokanauto  (Mr.  Philh'ps)  as  inter- 
preter and  pilot.  Lieutenant  Budd  observed  much  apparent  fear  among 
the  chiefs  and  people.  The  king,  Kania,  on  the  approach  of  the  boats, 
had  gone  to  hide  himself  in  the  outskirts  of  the  town,  but  Mr.  Phillips 
was  met  on  the  way  coming  towards  them,  and  after  much  hesitation 
determined  to  accompany  Mr.  Budd  on  board  the  ship.  The  natives 
appeared  to  entertain  the  same  fears  as  their  chief. 

Phillips  is  about  thirty  years  of  age,  of  middle  size,  active,  and  well 
made ;  he  is  more  intelligent  than  the  natives  generally,  and  his  appear- 
ance less  savage  ;  he  speaks  English  tolerably  well,  though  it  is  not 
difficult  to  perceive  whence  he  has  obtained  his  knowledge  of  it  by  the 
phrases  he  makes  use  of  It  was  not  a  little  comical  to  hear  a  Feejee 
man  talk  of  "  New  York  highbinders,"  "  Boston  dandies,"  "  Baltimore 
mobtowns."  On  assurances  being  given  to  the  natives  that  we  were 
their  friends,  they  became  more  reconciled,  and  after  a  time  the  king, 
Kania,  or  Tui  Ndraketi,  was  found,  and  invitations  delivered  to  him  to 
pay  a  visit  to  the  ship.  Lieutenant  Budd  then  crossed  the  river  to  the 
missionaries'  houses,  where  he  saw  their  wives,  and  found  Mr.  Jagger, 
who  is  one  of  the  mission.  The  Rev.  Mr.  Cargill  had  visited  the  ship 
shortly  after  the  Peacock  anchored ;  his  canoe  was  manned  by  Tonga 
men.  He  was  on  his  way  to  a  town  fifteen  miles  distant,  where  the 
chief  and  a  few  of  the  people  had  just  embraced  Christianity.  He  was 
invited  to  preach  on  board  the  next  day ;  he  complied,  and  delivered 
an  excellent  discourse. 

On  the  morning  of  the  18th,  Monday,  the  king  and  his  brother, 
Ngaraningiou,  visited  the  ship.  The  king  came  in  a  canoe  of  beautiful 
construction,  about  forty  feet  in  length,  propelled  by  paddles,  which 
the  king  alone  is  allowed  to  use.  Ngaraningiou  was  in  a  much  larger 
canoe,  having  a  large  mast  and  sail,  and  the  chief's  pennant  flying 
from  the  yard,  but  sculls  were  used. 

Captain  Hudson  now  despatched  Lieutenant  Budd  and  Passed 
Midshipman  Davis,  with  two  boats,  up  the  river.  Mr.  Peale,  one  of 
the  naturalists,  went  with  this  expedition,  and  Mr.  Phillips's  services 
were  engaged  to  accompany  and  protect  the  boats  in  the  exploration 
of  the  river. 

The  ship  had  been  prepared  for  the  king's  visit;  he  was  received 
with  due  ceremony,  and  was  led  aft,  and  seated  on  the  quarter-deck. 
Tui  Ndraketi  is  about  forty  years  of  age,  and  is  a  tall,  fine-looking 
man,  with  a  manly  expression  of  countenance,  and  much  dignity.  His 
intellect  is  not  as  quick  as  that  of  his  brother,  Mr.  Phillips ;  and  his 

]  12  R  E  W  A. 

manner  was  cold  and  repulsive.  He  was  without  any  attendants  of 
high  rank.  Ngaraningiou  shortly  afterwards  made  his  appearance, 
accompanied  by  six  chiefs,  and  a  retinue  of  thirty  or  forty  men,  form- 
ing a  singular  contrast  to  the  unassuming  appearance  of  the  suite  of 
the  king.  Another  of  the  party  was  a  chief  of  high  rank,  called  Vuni- 
valu,  "  Root  of  war :"  he  is  a  descendant  of  the  royal  family  that  were 
dethroned  by  Kania.  His  position  gives  him  great  influence,  and,  in 
case  of  war,  the  operations  are  confided  to  him.  This  chief  bears, 
among  the  foreigners,  the  title  of  governor. 

Ngaraningiou  is  equally  tall  with  his  eldest  brother,  the  king,  and 
better  and  more  gracefully  formed.  He  may  be  considered  a  good 
specimen  of  a  Feejee  man  of  high  rank  and  fashion ;  indeed,  his  de- 
portment struck  the  officers  as  quite  distinguished  :  he  has,  withal, 
the  appearance  of  a  roue,  and  his  conduct  does  not  belie  the  indications, 
and  he  is  considered  by  all,  both  natives  and  white  residents,  as  a  dan- 
gerous man.  The  young  chiefs  who  were  his  companions,  resembled 
him  in  character  and  manners.  They  were  all  shown  over  the  ship, 
and  every  thing  exhibited  that  it  was  thought  could  interest  them  ;  the 
small-arm  men  were  exercised,  the  only  music  on  board,  the  drum  and 
fife,  were  played.  These,  together  with  the  firing  off  the  gims,  shotted, 
did  not  fail  to  draw  forth  their  usual  expressions  of  wonder  and  sur- 
prise, "  whoo-oo !"  the  same  that  was  uttered  by  Tanoa's  party,  on 
board  the  Vincennes.  After  partaking  of  some  refreshments  with 
Captain  Hudson,  the  rules  and  regulations,  similar  to  those  subscribed 
by  Tanoa,  were  carefully  interpreted  to  them  by  Mr.  Cargill,  and 
willingly  subscribed  by  the  king  and  chiefs,  with  the  strongest 
assurances,  on  their  part,  that  they  should  be  carried  into  effect,  and 
most  strictly  observed.  Suitable  presents  were  then  distributed  to  the 
king  and  chiefs,  and  they  left  the  ship,  apparently  highly  delighted 
with  their  visit. 

The  surveying  operations  were  now  prosecuted,  and  the  naturalists, 
with  as  many  officers  as  could  be  spared,  visited  Rewa.  Captain 
Hudson  describes  the  passage  up  to  Rewa  as  tortuous  and  difficult, 
even  for  a  boat,  on  account  of  the  many  sand-banks  and  shoals. 
Several  of  the  gentlemen  embarked  with  Mr.  Cargill  in  his  canoe, 
which  had  a  high  platform,  underneath  which  was  a  sort  of  cuddy, 
with  seats.  It  was  a  tolerably  comfortable  conveyance  in  fine  weather ; 
but  it  was  their  misfortune  to  experience  a  heavy  rain,  and  all  were 
well  wetted.  The  wind  being  contrary,  they  were  obhged  to  scull 
the  whole  distance,  and  they  describe  the  canoe  as  having  an  uncom- 
fortable rocking  motion. 

REWA.  113 

Captain  Hudson  visited  the  missionaries,  and  found  them  most  mise- 
rably accommodated,  in  a  small  rickety  house  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
river,  opposite  the  town  of  Rewa,  the  dwelling-house  that  they  had 
occupied  having  been  blown  down  in  the  tremendous  storm*  which 
happened  on  the  25th  of  February,  1840. 

After  Captain  Hudson  had  spent  some  time  with  the  missionaries, 
m}''  messenger,  Paddy  Connel,  made  his  appearance  and  delivered  him 
my  letters.  Paddy  had  a  very  awkward  mishap  in  rounding  Kamba 
Point,  for  his  canoe  had  capsized,  and  he  had.  been  obliged  to  swim 
for  his  life.  He  had  thought,  as  he  saidj  that  some  ill  luck  would 
overtake  him,  and  had,  therefore,  tied  my  letter  in  the  handkerchief  on 
his  head.  By  this  means  he  kept  it  dry,  and  he  believed  the  impor- 
tant paper,  as  he  called  it,  had  kept  him  from  drowning. 

Although  it  had  rained  hard,  Captain  Hudson  resolved  to  fulfil  his 
promise  to  the  king,  of  showing  him  some  fire-works,  and  the  gunner 
had  been  ordered  up  with  rockets,  fire-works,  &c.,  for  that  purpose. 
He,  therefore,  proceeded  across  the  river  to  the  king's  house,  where 
he  found  a  large  collection  of  natives.  The  house  is  large,  and  in 
shape  not  unlike  a  Dutch  barn :  it  is  sixty  feet  in  length  and  thirty  in 
width ;  the  eaves  were  six  feet  from  the  ground^  and  along  each  side 
there  were  three  large  posts,  two  feet  in  diameter  and  six  feet  high,  set 
firmly  into  the  ground ;  on  these  were  laid  the  horizontal  beams  and 
plates  to  receive  the  lower  ends  of  the  rafters ;  the  rafters  rise  to  a 
ridge-pole,  thirty  feet  from  the  ground,  which  is  supported  by  three 
posts  in  the  centre  of  the  building ;  they  were  of  uniform  size,  about 
three  inches  in  diameter,  and  eighteen  inches  apart.  The  usual  thick 
thatch  was  in  this  case  very  neatly  made.  The  sides  of  the  house 
were  of  small  upright  reeds,  set  closely  together.  All  the  fastenings 
were  of  sennit,  made  from  the  husk  of  the  cocoa-nut.  Some  attempts 
at  ornament  were  observed,  the  door-posts  being  covered  with  reeds 
wound  around  with  sennit^  which  had  a  pl-etty  effect.  There  are  two 
doorways,  one  on  each  side :  these  are  only  about  three  feet  in  height, 
and  are  closed  by  hanging  mats*  At  the  inside  of  the  principal  door 
are  two  small  cannons,  pointed  across  it,  which,  in  the  eyes  of  the 
king,  give  it  a  formidable  appearance.  A  sort  of  dais  was  raised  at 
one  end,  a  few  inches;  this  was  covered  with  mats  for  the  king  and  his 
wives,  while  at  the  other  end  mats  were  laid  for  his  attendants ;  above 
was  a  shelf  for  his  propei'ty,  or  riches^  consisting  of  mats,  tapa, 
earthenware,  spears,  and  clubs.     On  one  side  of  the  house,  as  is  usual 

*  This  storm  appears  fo  havfe  been  coihcicFent  with,  if  not  part  ofj  the  gale  that  occurred 
at  New  Zealand  on  the  1st  of  March.- 

VOL.  HI.  K2  15 

114  REWA. 

among  the  Feejeeans,  the  cooking-place  is  excavated,  a  foot  deep  and 
about  eight  feet  square;  this  was  furnished  with  three  large  earthen 
pots,  of  native  manufacture,  and  two  huge  iron  kettles,  obtained  from 
some  whaling-ship,  such  as  are  used  for  trying  out  oil.  These  were 
crammed  with  food. 

Some  of  our  gentlemen  entered  a  short  time  previous  to  Captain 
Hudson's  arrival,  and  found  the  king  taking  a  meal,  with  his  principal 
wife  beside  him  stretched  out  on  a  mat.  All  those  around  him  were 
sitting  after  the  manner  of  the  natives,  for  none  presume  to  stand  or  lie 
down  in  the  presence  of  the  king.  When  he  had  finished  eating  and 
pushed  the  food  from  him,  a  general  clapping  of  hands  took  place, 
after  which  water  was  brought,  and  the  cup  held  to  his  mouth  until  he 
nad  done  drinking,  when  clapping  of  hands  again  ensued.  This  was 
repeated  whenever  the  king  finished  doing  any  thing — a  piece  of 
etiquette  always  observed  with  great  strictness. 

On  state  occasions  this  ceremony  is  carried  much  farther :  the 
king's  food  at  such  times  is  passed  around  a  large  circle,  until  it 
reaches  his  principal  wife,  who  feeds  him  with  her  hands.  Many  ot 
the  chiefs  always  require  the  ava-cup  to  be  held  to  their  mouths. 
Notwithstanding  all  this  ceremony,  the  chiefs,  and  the  people  sitting 
around  them,  join  familiarly  in  the  conversation,  and  appear  otherwise 
perfectly  at  their  ease. 

The  king  at  once  ordered  provisions  for  his  guests,  for  whom  seats 
were  provided  on  a  sea-chest.  The  principal  article  of  food  was  the 
salt  beef  he  had  received  as  a  present  from  the  ship,  and  which  he 
named  bula-ma-kau.  The  origin  of  this  name  is  not  a  little  singular, 
and  is  due  to  our  countryman,  Captain  Eagleston,  who  has  been  for 
several  years  trading  among  this  group.  Wishing  to  confer  a  benefit 
on  these  natives,  he  took  on  board  a  bull  and  cow  at  Tahiti,  and 
brought  them  to  Rewa,  where  he  presented  them  to  the  king.  On 
being  asked  the  name  of  them,  he  said  they  were  called  "  bull  and 
cow,"  which  words  the  natives  at  once  adopted  as  a  single  term  to 
designate  both,  and  thenceforward  these  animals  have  been  known  as 
bula-ma-kau.  The  beef  was  found  to  be  more  savoury  than  on  board 
ship,  perhaps  from  being  twice  boiled.  The  king  was  asked  to  join 
them,  which  he  did,  although  he  had  just  finished  a  hearty  meal.  After 
the  meal  was  over,  a  small  earthen  finger-bowl  was  brought  to  the 
king  to  wash  his  hands,  and  as  the  attendant  did  not  seem  to  be  pre- 
pared to  extend  the  like  courtesy  to  our  gentlemen,  a  desire  for  a 
similar  utensil  was  expressed  and  complied  with,  although  apparently 
with  some  reluctance.  In  like  manner,  when  the  jar  of  water  was 
brought  to  the  king,  one  of  the  party  seized  upon  it  and  drank,  and  the 

REWA.  115 

rest  followed  suit,  to  the  evident  distress  of  the  attendant.  It  was 
afterwards  understood  that  his  anxiety  arose  from  the  vessel  being 
tabooed,  as  every  thing  belonging  or  appropriated  to  the  use  of  the 
king  is.     The  Papalangi  chiefs  are  exempted  from  these  restrictions. 

When  the  meal  was  finished,  the  whole  company  seated  themselves 
in  a  semicircle.  The  house  was  now  converted  into  an  audience-hall, 
and  the  officers  and  stewards  of  the  king  entered  to  render  their  report 
of  the  day  respecting  the  management  of  his  business.  A  chief  had 
just  arrived  to  pay  his  respects  to  the  king,  and  was  dressed  in  a  piece 
of  new  tapa,  which  was  wrapped  around  his  body  in  numerous  folds. 
When  he  had  seated  himself,  he  unrolled  it,  and  tore  it  into  strips  of 
three  fathoms  in  length,  which  he  distributed  to  the  chiefs  around  him, 
who  immediately  substituted  it  for  their  own  dresses.  This  chief  was 
the  messenger  announcing  a  tribute  from  Kantavu,  and  he  had  come 
to  receive  the  commands  of  the  king  relative  to  its  presentation,  which 
was  fixed  upon  to  take  place  the  next  day. 

Ava  was  chewing  when  Captain  Hudson  and  his  party  entered. 
They  were  kindly  received  by  the  king,  who  seated  them  near  him. 
There  is  a  peculiar  ceremony  observed  among  this  people  in  mixing 
their  ava.  It  having  been  first  chewed  by  several  young  persons,  on 
the  pouring  in  of  the  water,  they  all,  following  the  ambati,  raise  a 
kind  of  howl,  and  say  "  Ai  sevu."  The  people  present  were  arranged 
in  a  semicircle,  having  the  chief  operator  in  the  centre,  with  an  im- 
mense wooden  bowl  before  him.  The  latter,  immediately  after  the 
water  is  poured  in,  begins  to  strain  the  liquid  through  the  woody  fibres 
of  the  vau,  and  at  the  same  time  sings.  He  is  accompanied  in  his 
song  by  those  present,  who  likewise  imitate  all  his  motions  with  the 
upper  part  of  their  bodies  while  in  a  sitting  posture.  The  motions 
keep  time  to  the  song.  The  king  joined  occasionally  in  the  song ;  and 
when  any  important  stage  of  the  operation  was  arrived  at,  the  song 
ceased,  and  a  clapping  of  hands  ensued.  As  each  cup  was  filled  to  be 
served  out,  the  ambati  sitting  near  uttered  the  same  wild  howl  as 
before.  The  first  cup  is  filled  from  another,  that  answers  both  for 
dipper  and  funnel,  having  a  hole  in  it,  over  which  he  who  brew^s  the 
ava  places  his  finger  when  dipping,  and  then  withdrawing  it,  lets  the 
liquid  run  out  in  a  'stream.  They  are  very  particular  to  see  that  no 
one  touches  the  king's  cup  except  the  cupbearer. 

On  the  present  occasion,  a  worthless  Englishman  by  the  name  of 
James  Housman,  called  Jim  or  Jimmy,  officiated.  Few  would  have 
distinguished  him  from  a  native,  so  closely  was  he  assimilated  to  them 
in  ideas  and  feelings,  as  well  as  in  his  crouching  before  the  chiefs,  his 
mode  of  sitting,  and  slovenly  walk.     On  the  king's  finishing  drinking. 

]1G  REWA. 

there  was  a  general  clapping  of  hands;  but  when  the  lower  order  of 
chiefs  were  served,  this  was  not  observed,  and  in  lieu  of  it,  there  was 
a  general  exclamation  of  "  Sa  madaa,"  (it  is  empty.)  After  ava  the 
king  rinses  his  mouth,  lights  his  cigar  or  pipe,  and  lolls  on  his  mat. 
It  was  laughable  to  see  the  king's  barber  take  his  ava ;  as  he  is  not 
allowed  to  touch  any  thing  with  his  hands,  it  becomes  necessary 
that  the  cup  shall  be  held  for  him  by  another  person,  who  also  feeds 
him.  One  of  the  officers  gave  him  a  cigar,  which  was  lighted  and 
put  in  his  mouth,  and  when  he  wished  to  remove  it,  he  did  it  in  a  very 
ingenious  manner  by  twisting  a  small  twig  around  it. 

The  king  made  many  inquiries,  spoke  of  his  riches,  his  patent  rifle, 
and  the  feast  he  intended  to  give;  but  he  wanted  a  double-barrelled 
gun.  He  likewise  spoke  of  being  desirous  of  sending  his  two  little 
girls  (the  only  children  he  has)  to  the  missionary  school,  but  their 
attendants  (they  have  male  nurses)  were  such  thieves  they  would 
steal  every  thing  they  could  lay  their  hands  on  from  the  missionaries, 
and  in  this  way  would  give  him  a  great  deal  of  trouble.  Captain 
Hudson  induced  him  to  promise  to  build  the  missionaries  comfortable 
houses,  as  soon  as  the  weather  became  good  and  he  had  received  his 
tribute  from  Kantavu.  He  spoke  kindly  of  the  missionaries,  and 
seemed  well  satisfied  that  their  object  was  to  do  himself  and  his  people 
good.  The  king  ordered  his  household  to  chaunt  a  kind  of  song,  for 
the  amusement  of  his  guests,  the  subject  of  which  was  the  adventures 
of  a  chief  on  a  voyage,  after  leaving  his  wife,  and  her  resolution  to 
destroy  herself  in  consequence  of  his  failing  to  return. 

About  nine  o'clock  the  fireworks  were  exhibited.  When  the  first 
rocket  was  sent  off,  the  natives  exhibited  fear  and  excitement;  the 
king  seized  Captain  Hudson  by  the  hand  and  trembled  like  a  leaf. 
When  the  rockets  burst,  and  displayed  their  many  stars,  they  all 
seemed  electrified.  The  effect  produced  by  the  blue-lights  on  the  dark 
groups  of  naked  figures,  amazed  and  bewildered  as  they  were,  was 
quite  striking,  particularly  as  the  spectacle  was  accompanied  by  the 
uncouth  sounds  of  many  conchs,  and  by  the  yell  of  the  savages,  to 
drive  away  the  spirits  they  supposed  to  be  let  loose  and  flying  in  the 
air.  Paddy  Connel,  alias  Berry,  told  them  that  nothing  but  the  un- 
willingness we  had  to  do  them  injury  prevented  us  from  sending  them 
to  Ambau,  ten  miles  distant,  and  he  said  there  was  no  doubt  that  they 
believed  that  it  could  be  done.  This  exhibition  excited  the  wonder  and 
amazement  of  all  the  country  round,  and  induced  them  to  believe  that 
these  flying  spirits  were  collected  for  the  destruction  of  Rewa,  and  that 
they  themselves  would  be  the  next  to  suffer. 

After  the  fireworks  they  all  retired.  Captain  Hudson  taking  up  his 

REWA.  117 

abode  with  the  king,  and  continuing  to  tall<^  with  him  until  a  late  hour. 
When  they  retired  to  their  sleeping  apartments,  he  found  his  place  of 
rest  was  divided  by  tapa-cloths  and  screens  from  the  rest  of  the  apart- 
ments of  the  house,  and  well  furnished  with  musquito-netting.  Ere  he 
got  to  sleep,  he  was  surprised  to  find  his  musquito-net  moving,  and  still 
more  so  when  he  saw  the  figure  of  a  woman,  one  of  the  king's  own 
wives,  of  whom  he  has  a  large  number,  endeavouring  to  become  his 
bedfellow.  This  was  to  him  an  unexpected  adventure,  and  an  honour 
of  which  he  was  not  ambitious.  He  therefore  called  loudly  for  Paddy 
Connel  and  Jimmy,  the  king's  body-servant  and  cup-bearer,  and  through 
them  very  politely  declined  the  honour ;  but  the  lady  positively  refused 
to  go  away,  saying  that  she  had  been  sent  by  the  king,  and  must  sleep 
there ;  that  she  durst  not  go  away,  for  the  king  would  cliLh  her !  She 
was  told  that  she  must  go,  that  the  matter  would  be  arranged  with  the 
kinor  in  the  morning^,  and  she  need  have  no  fears  about  it.  She  then 
left  the  musquito-net,  although  with  evident  alarm  as  to  the  conse- 
quences, and  would  go  no  further.  Seeing  this.  Captain  Hudson  sent 
Jimmy  to  the  king,  to  say  he  did  not  wish  a  bedfellow ;  to  which  the 
monarch  replied  it  vv'as  well,  and  directed  the  woman  to  withdraw, 
which  she  did  as  soon  as  satisfied  that  it  was  the  king's  command. 
This  circumstance,  together  with  the  continued  trampling  of  the  mice, 
with  which  the  palace  is  overrun,  drove  away  any  thing  like  sleep; 
and  Captain  Hudson,  in  self-defence,  was  obliged  to  pass  the  remainder 
of  the  night  with  Paddy  and  Jimmy  over  the  fire. 

As  soon  as  the  day  dawned,  his  majesty,  who  is  an  early  riser,  called 
for  his  ava,  and  her  majesty  called  out  lustily  for  Jimmy  to  light  a 
cigar  and  bring  it  to  her  in  bed,  for  she  is  as  fond  of  cigars  as  her  royal 
spouse.  After  the  king  had  drunk  his  ava  and  smoked  his  cigar,  they 
had  breakfast  of  baked  pig,  taro,  and  yams.  The  repast  was  spread 
upon  a  mat;  after  which  Captain  Hudson,  accompanied  by  the  king 
and  Paddy  Connel,  crossed  the  river,  to  the  missionaries,  where  they 
partook  of  a  second  breakfast,  the  king  behaving  himself  with  great 
decorum  at  the  table ;  and  Paddy,  too,  took  his  second  lunch  behind 
the  door,  with  great  enjoyment.  The  king  renewed  his  promises  to 
build  their  houses,  as  soon  as  the  weather  became  fine,  and  said  that 
then  he  would  not  leave  them  until  they  were  finished.  This  engage- 
ment, I  am  happy  to  say,  he  fully  performed.  After  breakfast,  they 
again  crossed  the  river  to  Rewa,  and,  the  weather  having  cleared  up, 
the  town  presented  an  entirely  different  appearance.  The  scenery 
around  Rewa  is  fine.  There  are  in  its  neighbourhood  many  creeks, 
not  unlike  narrow  canals,  bordered  on  each  side  with  rich  and  beau- 
tiful vegetation,  resembling  that  of  Oriental   regions.     Dr.  Pickering 

118  REWA. 

and  Mr.  Rich  threaded  many  miles  of  these  creeks,  in  the  canoe  of 
Mr.  Cargill,  who  was  kind  enough  to  loan  it  to  them.  During  this 
excursion  they  landed  and  went  to  a  village,  where  they  saw  a  well- 
planned  ball-alley,  kept  in  good  order,  level  and  clean,  Taro  and 
sugar-cane  were  found  to  be  extensively  cultivated.  After  wading 
across  several  creeks,  they  finally  reached  an  uncleared  wood,  consist- 
ing of  large  trees  of  Inocarpus,  Barringtonia,  and  Uvaria,  with  Palms 
and  Pandanus,  resembling  the  vegetation  of  Ovolau.  The  country 
appeared  very  wet,  and  was  full  of  mud-holes  and  small  creeks,  which 
rendered  walking  irksome.  They  returned  to  Rewa  by  dark,  and 
the  next  day  proceeded  in  another  direction,  when  a  Feejee  dandy 
offered  to  be  their  guide,  and  was  extremely  attentive  to  them  through- 
out their  excursion.  He  refused  all  compensation,  until  a  little  girl, 
who  was  near,  seeing  a  jews-harp,  requested  to  have  it.  He  then 
accepted  it,  and  gave  it  to  her.  This  act,  together  with  his  civil  and 
attentive  behaviour,  produced  a  favourable  impression  upon  them. 

The  town  of  Rewa,  though  in  a  low  situation,  has  a  picturesque 
though  singular  appearance.  It  extends  about  a  mile  along  the  river, 
and  contains  from  five  to  six  hundred  houses  of  all  sizes,  from  the 
lofty  mbures  with  their  pointed  roofs,  and  the  barn-like  edifices  of  the 
chiefs,  to  the  rickety  shantees  of  the  kai-sis,  and  the  diminutive  yam- 
houses,  perched  on  four  posts,  to  protect  the  yams  from  the  depredations 
of  the  rats.  It  is  every  where  intersected  by  narrow  lanes,  closely  shut 
in  with  high  reed  fences. 

The  party  visited  the  most  conspicuous  houses  of  the  place.  The 
first  which  they  saw  was  the  mbure,  situated  on  the  spot  where  the 
king's  father  was  murdered ;  the  mound  on  which  it  is  built  is  an 


artificial  one,  ten  feet  high.  The  mbure  is  about  twelve  feet  square, 
and  its  sides  or  walls  only  four  feet  high  ;  while  its  high-pitched  roof 
rises  to  the  height  of  about  thirty  feet.     The  walls  and  roof  of  the 


R  E  W  A. 

terminated  in  a  furious  figiit,  in  which  one  of  the  combatants  was 
thrown  against  the  musquito-bar  serving  as  a  screen  to  our  gentlemen, 
breaking  down  one  end  of  it.  They  now  sought  their  arms,  and  placed 
themselves  on  their  guard  for  self-protection,  not  knowing  what  Feejee 
ferocity  and  treachery  might  bring  about.  The  hostess  at  last  inter- 
fered with  some  effect,  and  put  down  the  commotion,  and  the  house 
was  quieted  for  the  night,  excepting  the  rats  and  mice,  which  during 
the  nocturnal  hours  took  full  possession.  Little  can  one  imagine  the 
noise  of  these  rat  races ;  Whittington's  cat,  here,  would  indeed  be 
worth  her  golden  price. 

Mr.  Agate  made  good  use  of  his  short  stay  at  Rewa.  While  wan- 
dering about,  he  was  met  by  a  priest,  who  came  to  him  and  signified 
by  signs  he  wished  him  to  sketch  something,  and  at  the  same  time 
pointing  to  a  house.  Mr.  Agate  followed  him  in.  There  were  a  large 
number  of  retainers  present,  and  shortly  after  his  entrance  a  man  was 
aroused  from  his  mat,  who  said  he  wished  his  likeness  taken.  His 
head  v/as  dressed  in  the  most  elaborate  and  extravagant  fashion  oi 
Rewa,  and  from  the  number  of  his  retainers  he  appeared  to  be  a  high 
chief.  A  day  or  two  after  he  proved  to  be  the  notorious  Vendovi, 
brother  to  the  king,  and  the  person  whom  we  desired  to  capture.  He 
had  his  face  smeared  with  oil  and  lamp-black. 

From  his  head-dress  our  gentlemen  recognised  him  as  the  individual 
who  had  been  their  guide  in  one  of  the  short  excursions  they  had  made 
in  the  neighbourhood,  and  with  whom  they  had  been  so  much  pleased 
when  they  offered  him  a  reward  for  his  services. 

Mr.  Agate  also  obtained  good  likenesses  of  the  king  and  queen. 

R  E  W  A.  121 

Whilst  he  was  employed  in  sketching  these,  he  witnessed  the  de- 
livery of  their  tribute  by  the  people  of  Kantavu.  When  the  king  was 
seated  in  state,  with  his  principal  officers  around  him,  the  chiefs  of 
Kantavu  appeared,  each  encircled  with  many  folds  of  tapa  and  mats. 
After  leaving  their  clubs,  &c.,  near  the  door,  they  entered,  crouching 
upon  their  hands  and  feet,  and  thus  passed  round  the  semicircle  to 
their  appointed  places.  Their  chief  continued  to  proceed  towards  the 
king,  and  when  near,  presented  his  majesty  with  a  whale's  tooth, 
neatly  slung  in  the  manner  of  a  powder-horn.  The  king,  on  receiving 
it,  answered,  "  Endina."  The  chief  then  retired,  and  was  followed  by 
another,  who,  after  disburdening  himself  of  the  tapa  in  which  he  was 
enveloped,  gave  place  to  another,  and  so  on  to  the  last.  Each  offering 
was  acknowledged  by  the  king  in  the  same  tone  of  voice  and  manner. 
When  all  had  been  received,  they  retired  in  the  same  order  they  had 
entered,  and  the  king  took  especial  care  to  place  the  new  acquisitions 
among  his  valuables.     This  was  understood  to  be  the  tribute  for  a  year. 

These  presents  are  usually  received  in  the  square  before  the  king's 
house,  and  a  dance  generally  follows.  But  owing  to  the  heavy  rains, 
which  had  converted,  not  only  this  spot,  but  the  whole  of  Rewa,  into 
a  mud-puddle,  they  were  deprived  of  an  opportunity  of  witnessing  one 
of  these  tribute  dances ;  a  deprivation  which  they  much  regretted,  for 
foreigners  seldom  have  an  opportunity  of  seeing  them. 

The  expedition  under  Lieutenant  Budd,  that  went  to  explore  the 
river,  had  now  returned,  after  having  proceeded  forty-five  miles  above 
Rewa,  which  is  ten  miles  farther  than  it  had  been  before  ascended. 
The  party  consisted  of  Lieutenant  Budd,  Passed  Midshipman  Davis, 
and  Mr.  Peale,  with  two  boats.  They  left  the  ship  at  one  o'clock,  and 
in  consequence  of  rain  took  refuge  in  an  mbure  at  the  town  of  Vatia. 
There  they  found  a  large  quantity  of  arms,  collected  by  a  tax  on  each 
male,  of  a  spear,  club,  &c.  These  being  kept  in  a  consecrated  place, 
the  wounds  made  by  them  are  considered  as  always  fatal,  while  the 
same  kind  of  injury  by  a  new  or  unconsecrated  spear  would  heal. 
They  had  here  an  opportunity  of  seeing  the  reverence  paid  to  Phillips, 
who  is  a  very  high  chief  Whenever  the  natives  saw  him,  they  in- 
variably dropped  on  their  hams  until  he  passed ;  when  he  spoke  to 
them,  they  clapped  the  palms  of  their  hands  together;  and  in  his 
presence  none  presumed  to  walk  upright. 

In  the  village  they  saw  quantities  of  the  cyrenas  and  lingula  shells, 
the  tenants  of  which  had  been  eaten  by  the  inhabitants.  They  found 
subsequently  on  their  trip,  that  the  former  made  excellent  soup.  This 
village  is  famous  for  its  pottery,  and  some  earthen  jars  were  seen  that 
would  hold  a  barrel  of  water.     The  clay  of  which. they  are  made  is 

VOL.  111.  L  16 

122  REWA. 

yellow,  and  is  dug  out  of  the  banks  of  the  river.  The  mode  of  mo- 
delling these  vessels  is  described  in  another  place.  The  pots  are  very- 
light,  and  of  many  fanciful  shapes ;  but  they  are  quite  fragile. 

They  reached  Rewa  before  dark,  and  took  up  their  lodgings  in 
Phillips's  house,  which  is  one  of  the  largest  in  Rewa,  and  built  in  the 
same  manner  as  the  king's.  Screens  of  ornamented  tapa  were  used 
to  divide  it  into  apartments,  and  the  floor  was  neatly  covered  with 
mats.  The  furniture  consisted  of  a  hand-organ,  table,  benches,  several 
arm-chests,  and  a  closet.  To  crown  all,  the  supper-table  was  laid 
with  a  cloth,  dishes,  plates,  knives  and  forks,  and  they  were  waited  on 
by  his  white  steward  (an  Italian),  who  was  left  here  sick  by  the  Cur- 
rency Lass  under  his  charge.     He  has  also  a  white  carpenter. 

The  night  was  passed  uncomfortably,  in  consequence  of  the  many 
noisy  natives  who  assembled  to  drink  ava.  The  ava-bowl  of  Phillips 
was  three  feet  in  diameter.  In  drinking  the  ava,  the  first  cup  was 
handed  to  Phillips,  and  as  there  was  more  in  it  than  he  chose  to 
drink,  the  remainder  was  poured  back  into  the  bowl.  The  ceremony 
of  clapping  of  hands  was  then  performed.  Instead,  however,  of  their 
serving  out  more  ava  from  the  bowl,  the  whole  was  thrown  away,  for 
it  is  the  custom  that  when  any  is  poured  back  from  the  chief's  cup, 
none  must  drink  from  the  vessel.  More  ava  was  therefore  prepared, 
which  they  sat  drinking  nearly  all  night.  The  usual  savage  hospitality 
was  offered  each  of  them,  and  they  kept  their  arms  and  accoutrements 
in  readiness. 


The  next  morning  they  proceeded  up  the  river,  the  banks  of  which 
were  from  eishl  to  ten  feet  above  the  water,  and  covered  with  a  thick 

REWA.  123 

growth  of  reeds.  Beyond  them  are  well-cultivated  fields  of  taro,  yams, 
and  bananas,  as  before  described;  all  giving  evidence  of  the  over- 
flowing of  the  banks.  Islets  were  continually  passed,  and  many  towns 
containing  from  two  or  three  hundred  to  a  thousand  inhabitants. 
Numerous  creeks  disembogued  on  both  sides. 

The  town  of  Nou  Souri  was  next  passed.  Here  the  chief  Cornu- 
balavoo  sent  presents  to  them — he  is  the  cousin  of  Phillips — and  after- 
wards accompanied  them  up  the  river  in  a  canoe. 

About  seven  miles  up  from  Rewa  is  a  creek  leading  to  Ambau, 
which  is  passable  for  canoes  at  high  water.  The  town  of  Natacallo 
is  here  situated,  and  the  first  rise  of  hills  takes  place.  This  is  one  of 
their  great  battle-grounds,  and  was,  according  to  Phillips,  the  scene  of 
many  of  his  deeds,  which  he  recounted. 

About  a  mile  above  this  there  is  a  bar  which  extends  nearly  across 
the  river.  The  channel  hes  close  to  the  hills,  which  are  two  hundred 
feet  in  height.  Below  this  bar  the  banks  of  the  river  are  all  alluvial. 
There  is  here  an  elbow  in  the  river,  above  which  is  the  town  of 
Capavoo,  of  four  hundred  inhabitants,  which  was  the  scene  of  one  of 
the  bloody  attacks  of  the  Ambau  people  under  the  notorious  Charley 
Savage.  It  is  said  that  he  was  afterwards  killed  near  Mbua  or 
Sandalwood  Bay,  and  so  great  was  the  enmity  of  the  natives  towards 
him,  that  he  was  not  only  eaten,  but  his  bones  were  ground  to  powder 
and  drunk  in  their  ava.  Phillips  mentioned  that  a  daughter  of  this 
notorious  villain  is  now  married  to  one  of  the  king's  brothers,  at  Rewa. 
Stopping  in  the  evening  for  the  men's  supper,  they  saw  many  fine 
shaddock  trees  in  full  fruit  along  the  banks,  and  Mr.  Peale  shot  a 
beautiful  parrot,  with  very  gay  blue  and  red  plumage ;  he  also  obtained 
two  ducks.  Phillips  says  the  low  islands  have  been  formed  in  the 
river  by  the  frequent  floods  from  the  mountains,  "  since  he  has  had 
whishersJ^     His  age  is  supposed  to  be  thirty-five  years. 

The  native  houses  hereabouts  are  constructed  with  a  solid  basement 
surrounded  with  piles,  to  prevent  their  being  washed  away  on  the 
occurrence  of  the  floods. 

At  night  they  stopped  at  the  town  of  Coronganga,  about  eighteen 
miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  river.  "  Here  they  took  possession  of  the 
mbure,  and  with  the  assistance  of  Mr.  Phillips's  white  steward,  they 
made  themselves  quite  comfortable.  The  same  deference  and  respect 
were  paid  Phillips  here  as  they  had  before  observed;  but,  notwith- 
standing this,  Lieutenant  Budd  and  party  took  every  precaution  to 
prevent  surprise,  to  convince  the  natives  that  their  watchfulness  was 
never  asleep. 

The  banks  showed  a  rise  and  fall  of  the  water  during  the  night.    It 


REW  A. 

was  full  tide  about  eleven  o'clock  at  night;  according  to  Phillips,  the 
tide  flowed  some  miles  above  this  place.  The  current  of  the  river  was 
found  by  the  boats  to  be  about  a  mile  and  a  half  the  hour. 

Having  passed  a  comfortable  night,  (more  by  reason  of  their  own 
fatigue  than  the  comforts  of  the  mbure,)  notwithstanding  the  musqui- 
toes  and  bats,  which  were  both  very  numerous,  they  left  the  town  of 
Coronganga  at  an  early  hour  in  the  morning.  The  best  possible  under- 
standing existed  between  themselves  and  the  natives,  and  they  distri- 
buted presents  to  the  chiefs,  for  which  the  latter  expressed  many  thanks. 

Shortly  after  leaving  Coronganga,  they  passed  the  town  of  Nacundi, 
containing  about  six  hundred  inhabitants.  The  scenery  here  was 
beautiful,  being  embellished  by  many  clumps  of  noble  trees,  resembling 
our  oaks  in  their  wide-spreading  branches,  covered  with  vines,  and 
interspersed  with  ferns  and  tall  graceful  palms.  The  banks  were  here 
twelve  feet  high,  and  steep.  From  appearance  the  country  is  thickly 
populated,   notwithstanding   the   destructive   wars   which   have   been 

R  E  W  A.  125 

waged  with  the  people  of  Ambau.  All  the  inhabitants  were  observed 
to  be  clustered  in  the  villages,  for  the  purpose  of  mutual  protection ; 
and  the  same  reason  causes  them  to  choose  as  their  sites  for  building 
either  some  inaccessible  point,  or  a  place  that  affords  facility  for  forti- 

Five  miles  above  Coronganga,  the  country  changes  its  character ; 
the  river  passes  by  cliffs  of  sandstone  five  hundred  feet  in  height, 
whose  stratification  dips  ten  degrees  to  the  eastward.  Ranges  of 
hills  now  rear  themselves  to  a  goodly  height,  and  extend  some  miles 
back  into  the  interior. 

They  next  passed  the  town  of  Naitasiri,  where  one  of  the  brothers 
of  Phillips,  called  Savou,  is  chief.  Naitasiri  is  the  capital  of  this 
district,  and  is  next  in  power  to  Rewa,  on  the  island  of  Vitilevu. 
Phillips  was  not  disposed  to  land  here ;  for  a  misunderstanding  had 
occurred  between  him  and  his  brother,  in  consequence  of  Savou 
having  taken  charge,  for  Phillips,  of  some  two  hundred  hogs,  of 
which,  when  demanded  after  a  short  time,  only  ten  or  fifteen  were  to 
be  found,  Savou  having  either  eaten  or  given  away  the  remainder. 
Cornubalavoo  went  on  shore  in  his  canoe,  and  took  Savou  on  board, 
who  spoke  as  he  passed  Phillips,  but  the  latter  would  not  condescend 
to  return  his  salutation. 

As  they  passed  further  up  the  river,  they  were  preceded  by  Savou, 
and  when  opposite  the  town  of  Tavu-tavu,  a  canoe  came  off  with  a 
present  of  baked  taro  and  yams,  from  Savou  to  Phillips  and  Lieu- 
tenant Budd.  This  was  considered  as  a  peace-offering,  and  appeared 
to  be  acceptable,  at  least  to  the  vanity  of  Phillips. 

In  the  vicinity  of  this  village  there  was  much  sugar-cane  growing. 
Just  above  it  is  an  elbow  in  the  river,  the  point  formed  by  which  was 
that  reached  by  Captain  Bethune,  of  H.  B.  M.  sloop  of  war  Conway. 
This  Lieutenant  Budd  called  Bethune's  Point.  They  shortly  after- 
wards passed  the  small  town  of  Viti,  opposite  to  which  is  a  cliff  four 
hundred  feet  in  height,  overgrown  with  shrubbery ;  and  near  this  many 
streamlets  enter  the  river.  Just  after  passing  this  place,  the  guides 
pointed  out  a  creek  that  led  to  Ambau.  The  country  appeared  here 
more  thickly  peopled  than  that  below  ;  many  more  natives  were  seen, 
and  the  whole  surface  was  well  cultivated.  There  was  great  astonish- 
ment evinced  at  the  appearance  of  our  boats,  and  it  is  believed  our 
people  were  the  first  whites  who  had  been  thus  far  in  the  interior. 

The  mountain  district  was  reached  at  thirty-six  miles  from  the 
mouth  of  the  river,  and  the  ridges  were  from  twelve  to  fifteen  hundred 
feet  high.  The  Wailevu,  which  I  have  named  Peale's  river,  here 
makes  a  turn  to  the  westward  of  four  miles,  to  a  point  where  it  divides 


126  R  E  W  A. 

into  two  branches.  That  on  which  they  were,  comes  from  the  moun- 
tains direct,  while  the  other,  taking  a  course  to  the  south,  is  said  to 
disembogue  at  the  town  of  Indimbi,  on  the  south  shore,  about  ten 
miles  to  the  westward  of  the  harbour  of  Rewa,  and  opposite  to  the 
island  of  Mbenga.  Having  reached  the  mountains,  they  could  pro- 
ceed no  further  in  the  boats,  and  began  to  retrace  their  route.  Near 
the  place  where  they  turned  back,  there  was  a  remarkable  waterfall 
of  several  hundred  feet  leap. 

The  natives  state  that  this  river  flows  from  a  large  lake  in  the  centre 
of  Vitilevu,  and  that,  by  ascending  the  heights  above  Ragi-ragi,  the 
water  may  be  seen.* 

On  their  return  they  were  again  presented  by  Savou  with  a  load 
of  cooked  provisions,  and  a  fine  red-striped  variety  of  sugar-cane. 
Savou  seemed  to  be  very  desirous  of  mollifying  Phillips's  anger. 
They  were  well  drenched  with  rain  all  the  afternoon,  and  reached 
their  old  quarters  at  Coronganga  just  at  dark.  They  had  a  disagree- 
able night.  The  next  morning  they  set  out  early,  and  reached  Rewa 
in  the  afternoon,  without  accident.  Their  royal  guide  presented  every 
one  of  the  party  with  something  as  a  token  of  remembrance,  even  to 
each  of  the  boat's  crew. 

Phillips  returned  on  board  ship  with  them,  where  a  handsome  present 
awaited  him,  for  his  good  and  hospitable  conduct. 

The  number  of  inhabitants  comprised  in  the  towns  and  villages  on 
this  river  is,  from  the  computation  given  by  Phillips,  about  six  or  seven 

The  party  having  now  returned,  all  the  officers  were  ordered  on 

Captain  Hudson's  next  step  was  to  endeavour  to  capture  Vendovi. 
From  information  he  obtained,  it  was  believed  that  this  chief  intended 
to  visit  the  ship  the  next  day,  to  receive  the  presents  which,  as  was 
given  out,  awaited  his  coming.  Captain  Hudson  would  then  have 
had  an  opportunity  to  detain  him  without  any  difficulty  or  disturb- 
ance whatever.  They  all,  therefore,  left  Rewa  for  the  ship,  and  on 
the  way  down  the  river,  stopped  at  the  small  village  of  Vatia  to  pur- 
chase some  earthenware ;  this  is  a  village  of  potters.  They  were  at 
once  surrounded  by  several  hundreds  of  the  inhabitants,  all  pressing 
their  wares  on  them,  of  which  they  bought  several  specimens,  but  not 
enough  to  satisfy  the  venders,  who,  when  they  found  that  the  officers 
did  not  intend  to  purchase  more,  hooted  and  shouted  many  offensive 
epithets,  that  only  became  known  through  the  interpreter's  report. 

*  This  I  very  much  doubt,  as  fron  the  topography  of  the  island  it  does  not  seem  probable. 


(g)W3i3iM  ®rf  m.mwM..., 



R  E  W  A.  129 

The  selection  of  Ngaraningiou  as  the  emissary  to  capture  the  mur- 
derer was  well-timed,  as  Vendovi  had  always  been  his  rival,  and  the 
temptation  to  get  rid  of  so  powerful  an  adversary  was  an  opportunity 
not  to  be  lost  by  a  Feejee  man,  although  that  adversary  was  a  brother. 
He  was  soon  under  way  in  his  double  canoe,  which,  with  its  enormous 
sail  spread  to  a  strong  breeze,  was  speedily  out  of  sight. 

The  king,  at  Captain  Hudson's  request,  informed  his  people  that 
none  must  attempt  to  leave  the  ship,  or  they  would  be  fired  at;  that 
they  must  remain  on  board  until  further  orders ;  and  that,  in  the  mean 
time,  they  would  be  supplied  with  food.  One  attempt  was  made  by  a 
small  canoe  to  leave  the  ship,  but  on  seeing  the  preparations  for  firing 
at  it,  the  persons  in  it  quickly  returned. 

After  the  departure  of  Ngaraningiou  the  king,  queen,  and  chiefs, 
became  more  reconciled  to  their  position.  They  talked  much  about 
Vendovi  and  the  murder  he  had  committed  on  the  crevi?  of  the  Charles 
Doggett,  and  said  that  he  had  also  killed  his  eldest  brother. 

The  king,  during  the  evening,  spoke  much  of  his  being  a  friend  to 
the  white  men,  asserted  that  he  had  always  been  so,  and  adduced,  as 
an  instance  of  it,  his  conduct  in  the  case  of  the  Currency  Lass,  an 
English  trading  schooner,  of  Sydney,  New  South  Wales.  He  said 
that  this  vessel,  in  going  out  of  the  harbour,  had  got  on  shore  near  the 
anchorage ;  that  his  people  had  assembled  round  about  her  for  plunder, 
but  that  he  went  on  board  himself,  and  kept  all  his  subjects  off  that 
were  not  required  to  assist.  He  told  Captain  Wilson  and  the  owner, 
Mr.  Houghton,  who  was  on  board,  that  if  she  got  off  he  should  expect 
a  present,  which  they  readily  consented  to  give;  but  if  she  broke,  and 
got  water  in  her  hold,  the  vessel  and  property  must  be  his.  This,  he 
said,  they  also  agreed  to.  His  people,  wishing  her  to  go  to  pieces, 
made  several  attempts  to  remove  the  anchors,  but  he  stopped  them, 
and  drove  them  away;  and  the  only  thing  he  did,  with  the  hope  of 
getting  the  vessel  himself,  while  he  was  assisting  the  captain  to  get 
her  off",  was  to  send  up  some  of  his  chiefs  to  Rewa,  to  give  a  present 
to  the  ambati,  at  the  mbure,  to  oflfer  up  prayers  to  the  Great  Spirit, 
that  he  would  cause  her  to  get  water  in.  Something  went  wrong 
with  the  spirit,  and  the  vessel  got  clear.  The  only  thing  the  owner 
gave  him  was  a  whale's  tooth  and  a  small  looking-glass  ! 

When  the  evening  set  in,  the  natives  (kai-sis)  were  all  brought  on 
board  for  the  night,  and  placed  forward  on  the  gun-deck.  Here  they 
were  supplied  with  plenty  of  hard  bread  and  molasses,  which  they 
enjoyed  exceedingly,  and  afterwards  performed  several  dances.  The 
performers    arranged    themselves  in    two    ranks,   and    went   through 

VOL.  III.  17 

130  R  E  W  A. 

various  movements,  with  their  bodies,  heads,  arms,  and  feet,  keeping 
time  to  a  song  in  a  high  monotonous  key,  in  which  the  whole  joined, 
the  ranks  occasionally  changing  places,  those  in  the  rear  occupying 
the  front,  and  the  others  retiring  behind. 

The  inferior  chiefs  were  provided  with  a  sail  under  the  half-deck ; 
the  king,  queen,  and  their  little  daughter,  were  accommodated  by 
Captain  Hudson  in  his  cabin.  The  king  having  expressed  a  desire 
to  have  his  evening  draught  of  ava,  some  of  the  piper  mythisticum, 
from  which  it  is  made,  was  fortunately  found  among  the  botanical 
specimens  which  had  been  collected,  and  a  large  and  well-polished 
dish-cover  was  converted  into  an  ava-bowl.  The  ava  was  accordingly 
brewed,  and  all  the  usual  ceremonies  gone  through  with,  even  to  the 
king's  having  his  own  cup-bearer,  Jimmy  Housman,  who  was  one  of 
the  party. 

After  the  ava  was  over,  theatricals  were  resorted  to  for  the  amuse- 
ment of  their  majesties.  This  was  a  business  in  which  many  of 
the  crew  of  the  Peacock  were  proficients,  having  been  in  the  habit  of 
amusing  themselves  in  this  way.  Jim  Crow  was  the  first  piece,  and 
well  personated,  both  in  appearance  and  song,  by  Oliver,  the  ship's 
tailor.  This  representation  did  not  fail  to  amuse  the  audience  ex- 
ceedingly, and  greatly  astonished  their  majesties.  Jim  Crow's  appear- 
ance, on  the  back  of  a  jackass,  was  truly  comical :  the  ass  was  enacted 
by  two  men  in  a  kneeling  posture,  with  their  posteriors  in  contact ;  the 
body  of  the  animal  was  formed  of  clothing ;  four  iron  belaying-pins 
served  it  for  feet ;  a  ship's  swab  for  its  tail,  and  a  pair  of  old  shoes  for 
its  ears,  with  a  blanket  as  a  covering.  The  walking  of  the  mimic 
quadruped  about  the  deck,  with  its  comical-looking  rider,  and  the 
audience,  half  civilized,  half  savage,  gave  the  whole  scene  a  very 
remarkable  effect.  The  king  confessed  that  if  he  had  been  alone,  he 
would  be  much  frightened  at  the  curvetting  and  braying  of  the  beast 
before  him.  The  queen,  on  its  being  explained  to  her  that  what  she 
saw  was  only  two  men,  expressed  the  greatest  astonishment  in  her 
eager,  incredulous  look.  The  dance  of  "  Juba"  came  off  well,  through 
the  exertions  of  Howard  and  Shepherd,  but  the  braying  ass  of  Godwin, 
with  the  Jim  Crow  of  Oliver,  will  long  be  remembered  by  their  savage 
as  well  as  civilized  spectators.  The  whole  company  seemed  contented 
and  happy;  the  king  had  his  extra  bowl  of  ava,  the  queen  and  chiefs 
their  tea  and  supper;  and  all  enjoyed  their  cigars,  of  which  they 
smoked  a  great  number.  On  Captain  Hudson  expressing  to  the  king 
his  hope  that  the  queen  had  got  over  her  fears,  and  inquiring  if  she 
was  tired,  he  replied,  "  Why  should  she  be  troubled  1    is  she  not  with 

R  E  W  A.  131 

me?  When  I  die,  must  not  she  die  also?"  Thereby  intimating  that 
were  he  in  peril,  she  would  be  equally  so,  whether  present  or  absent. 
The  theatricals  having  been  ended,  they  all  retired  to  rest. 

One  could  not  but  perceive  the  great  difference  between  the  Tongese 
and  Feejees  who  passed  the  night  on  board.  The  former  are  generally 
Christians,  or  missionaries'  people;  they  were  orderly  and  respectable, 
and  before  going  to  rest,  quietly  and  very  devoutly  met  and  had  their 
evening  prayer;  which,  contrasted  with  the  conduct  of  the  others,  had 
a  pleasing  effect. 

Mr.  Phillips,  in  recompense  for  his  attention  to  Lieutenant  Budd  and 
Mr.  Peale,  was  well  provided  for  by  the  officers ;  and,  at  various  times, 
imparted  information  respecting  the  history  of  Rewa,  his  own  family, 
and  others,  that  may  be  looked  upon  as  quite  authentic ;  and  I  have 
little  doubt  that  it  will  prove  interesting  to  the  reader. 

By  the  aid  of  the  whites,  Tambiavalu,  father  of  Kania,  was  esta- 
blished as  king,  upon  the  dethronement  of  the  reigning  family,  of 
whom  Vunivalu,  the  governor,  is  a  descendant.  Rewa  at  this  time 
was  of  little  consequence,  comprising  only  the  small  town  of  Ndraketi, 
from  which  the  king  now  derives  his  title. 

Tambiavalu  governed  with  great  firmness  and  wisdom.  During 
his  reign,  all  criminals  met  with  exemplary  punishment.  According 
to  the  Feejee  custom,  he  had  many  wives,  the  chief  among  whom  was 
a  descendant  of  the  family  of  Mbatitombi,  who  reigned  at  Ambau 
before  Bamiva,  the  father  of  Tanoa,  succeeded  in  gaining  the  kingdom. 
Although  considered  the  queen,  and  holding  the  title  of  Ramdini- 
Ndraketi,  she  was  not  the  highest  in  rank.  There  was  also  among  the 
wives  of  Tambiavalu  a  sister  of  Tanoa,  named  Salaiwai,  who  was 
younger,  and  in  consequence  had  not  the  station  to  which  her  rank 
entitled  her  to. 

Phillips  gives  Tambiavalu  the  credit  of  having  had  a  hundred  chil- 
dren by  his  numerous  wives  and  concubines,  a  statement  of  which 
those  best  acquainted  with  Feejee  history  do  not  doubt  the  correctness. 
Of  this  large  progeny,  the  children  by  the  two  above  mentioned 
females  are  alone  entitled  to  any  rank.  By  the  queen,  Ramdini- 
Ndraketi,  he  had  four  sons,  named  Madonovi,  Kania,  Valivuaka,  and 
Ngaraningiou.  By  Salaiwai,  he  had  only  two,  Seru  and  Thokanauto 
(Mr.  Phillips).  Of  the  six,  Kania,  Ngaraningiou,  and  Thokanauto  are 
still  living. 

Tambiavalu  had  a  long  and  prosperous  reign,  and  under  him  Rewa 
assumed  a  rank  among  the  chief  cities  of  the  Feejees,  having  acquired 
much  territory,  and  among  the  rest,  the  island  of  Kantavu.  His  eldest 
son,  Koraitaraano,  was  the  child  of  a  Kantavu  woman  of  rank ;  he 

132  REWA. 

was,  in  consequence,  a  vasu  of  the  most  important  possessions  oi 
Rewa,  and  had  many  connexions  and  friends  throughout  the  counti'y; 
he  had  so  ingratiated  himself  with  the  chiefs  and  people,  that  he  could 
have  made  himself  king  on  the  death  of  his  father.  Ramdini-Ndrakeli, 
the  queen,  who  is  represented  as  a  most  artful  as  well  as  unscrupulous 
woman,  was  fearful  that  his  popularity  might  become  disadvantageous 
to  her  children,  and  she  determined  to  have  him  removed.  She  ma- 
naged to  instil  into  the  king's  mind  suspicions  that  Koraitamano  in- 
tended to  seize  upon  the  succession,  which  determined  him  to  put  this 
son  to  death.  Koraitamano  received  a  hint  of  his  intentions,  and  was 
able  to  evade  every  attempt.  On  some  occasions  he  was  obliged  to 
flee  to  distant  places,  once  to  Ra,  the  western  end  of  Vitilevu,  and 
another  time  to  Mbenga,  where  he  remained  until  a  kind  of  reconciha- 
tion  took  place,  when  he  was  induced  to  return.  He  had  not  been 
long  in  Rewa,  before  the  queen  recommenced  her  machinations  for  his 
destruction,  and  his  father  also  resumed  his  designs  against  him. 

Koraitamano  was  doubtful  whether  again  to  resort  to  flight  or 
remain,  when  some  chiefs  who  were  hostile  to  the  king,  represented 
to  the  young  chief  that  the  only  method  to  secure  his  own  safety 
effectually  was  to  put  his  father  to  death,  assuring  him  they  would 
stand  by  him  in  the  struggle.  By  their  persuasions  he  was  induced 
to  accede  to  their  designs.  At  night  he  set  fire  to  a  canoe-house,  and 
coming  into  his  father's  dwelling,  he  approached  the  place  where  he 
was  sleeping,  and  cried  out,  "  Do  you  lie  here  asleep  when  your  city 
is  burning  !"  Tambiavalu  immediately  started  up  and  ran  out.  Ko- 
raitamano following  closely  after  him,  watched  an  occasion,  struck 
him  with  his  club  on  the  back  of  his  head,  and  killed  him  on  the  spot ; 
after  which  he  retired  to  his  own  house,  trusting  to  the  promises  of  his 
friends  and  adherents,  that  they  would  protect  and  defend  him.  But  the 
queen  was  more  than  an  equal  for  his  cunning,  and  her  hatred  caused 
her  to  go  to  the  greatest  lengths  in  wreaking  her  vengeance  upon 
him.  She  had  the  body  brought  to  the  house,  where,  observing  that 
the  external  injury  to  the  head  was  slight,  she  conceived  the  singular 
plan  of  making  the  deed  of  the  assassin  and  his  friends  recoil  upon 
their  own  heads.  She,  therefore,  at  once  raised  a  cry  that  the  body 
showed  signs  of  life,  and  that  her  husband  was  not  dead.  She  then 
had  the  body  conveyed  to  the  farther  end  of  his  house,  under  the  plea 
that  he  required  to  be  removed  from  the  noise  ;  and  no  one  was  suf- 
fered to  approach  the  body  but  herself  and  a  Tonga  woman,  who  was 
her  confidant.  She  soon  spread  the  report  that  the  king  had  recovered 
his  senses,  but  was  very  weak,  and  called  upon  several  chiefs  in  the 
king's  name,  saying  that  he  required  the  instant  death  of  Koraitamano. 

R  E  W  A.  133 

The  chiefs  convened  a  meeting  to  consider  the  course  that  ought  to  be 
pursued,  but  could  come  to  no  decision,  in  consequence  of  the  general 
opinion  that  the  conduct  of  Koraitamano  was  justifiable;  although,  on 
the  other  hand,  they  feared  the  wrath  of  the  king,  in  case  he  should 
recover,  particularly  those  who  had  advised  and  wished  to  uphold  Ko- 
raitamano. The  queen  becoming  aware  of  their  hesitation,  on  the 
following  morning  took  some  whales'  teeth  and  other  valuables,  and 
presented  them  herself  to  the  chiefs,  saying  they  were  sent  by  the  king 
to  purchase  the  death  of  his  son.  Fearing  to  hold  out  any  longer, 
they  went  to  Koraitamano  and  announced  to  him  the  fatal  mandate, 
and  he  was  immediately  killed.  They  then  proceeded  to  the  king's 
house  to  I'eport  that  the  deed  was  done,  and  on  approaching  the  couch 
of  the  king,  the  putrescent  odour  which  proceeded  from  the  corpse  at 
once  disclosed  to  them  the  deception  that  had  been  practised.  It  was, 
however,  too  late  to  amend  the  matter,  and  Madonovi,  the  eldest  son 
of  the  queen,  now  succeeded  his  father  without  opposition.  One  of 
the  first  acts  of  Madonovi  was  to  build  an  mbure  over  the  spot  where 
his  father  was  murdered.  His  succession  deprived  Seru  and  Thoka- 
nauto  (Phillips)  of  their  right  to  the  throne,  and  of  course  excited  their 
hostility  to  the  reigning  chief,  who  was  by  no  means  so  popular  as  his 
father,  and  did  not  govern  to  the  satisfaction  of  his  subjects.  Seru, 
who  was  the  oldest  of  the  two  malcontents,  was  a  very  tall  and  re- 
markably handsome  man,  and  had  great  influence  among  the  people, 
,which  excited  the  jealousy  of  the  king.  Such  was  his  strength  that  it 
is  said  he  could  knock  down  a  full-grown  hog  by  a  blow  on  the  fore- 
head, and  would  break  a  cocoa-nut  by  striking  it  on  his  elbow. 

Mutual  words  of  defiance  had  passed  between  the  two  brothers,  and 
they  were  living  in  daily  expectation  of  some  encounter  that  would 
bring  on  serious  disturbances.  During  the  height  of  this  feeling,  they 
met  on  the  road,  where  the  scene  that  was  enacted  was  quite  remark- 
able, and  the  narration  of  it  by  PhiUips  equally  so. 

Seru  had  one  of  the  short  missile  clubs  (ula)  in  his  girdle,  which  Feejee 
men  usually  wear  stuck  in  behind.  As  Madonovi  approached,  Seru 
placed  his  back  against  the  fence,  without  any  design.  The  king  had 
three  shaddocks  (molitivi)  in  his  hand,  of  which,  as  he  came  up  to  Seru, 
he  held  one  up  and  called  out  in  sport,  that  he  meant  to  throw  it  at 
him.  The  thought  then  came  into  Seru's  mind  that  if  the  king  threw 
and  hit  him  he  would  let  him  pass,  but  that  if  he  missed  he  would  take 
the  opportunity  to  put  him  to  death.  He,  therefore,  replied  to  his 
brother  in  the  same  jocose  manner,  "  Throw,  but  if  you  miss,  FU  try." 
The  king  threw,  but  missed.  He  then  drew  nearer,  and  holding  up 
another  of  the  shaddocks,  cried  out,  "  This  time  I  will  hit  you."     To 

134  REWA. 

which  Seru  replied,  "  Take  care ;  if  you  miss,  then  I'll  try."  The 
king  threw  again,  but  Seru,  by  a  quick  movement,  avoided  the  missile. 
Madonovi  then  advanced  to  within  two  or  three  yards  of  Seru, 
saying,  "  This  time  I  think  I  shall  hit  you."  Seru  made  himself  ready 
to  avoid  it,  and  with  his  hands  behind  him,  said,  "  If  you  miss,  then  I 
take  my  turn."  The  king  threw  the  third  time  and  missed,  for  Seru 
stooped,  and  the  shaddock  passed  over  his  shoulder.  Seru  then  drew 
himself  up,  flourished  his  club  in  the  air,  and  exclaimed  in  tones  of 
exulting  mockery,  "  Aha,  I  think  you  did  not  see  this !"  With  that  he 
hurled  his  weapon  with  so  deadly  an  aim  that  it  crushed  the  skull  of 
the  king,  and  killed  him  on  the  spot. 

As  soon  as  this  event  became  known,  the  queen  with  her  other  sons 
fled  to  Ambau,  leaving  the  supreme  power  in  the  hands  of  Seru,  who, 
however,  did  not  take  the  title  of  Ndraketi,  but  adopted  that  of  Tui 
Sawau,  after  the  chief  town  of  Mbenga,  on  which  he  had  made  war 
and  captm-ed,  and  by  which  title  he  was  thenceforth  known.  He  was 
not,  however,  long  left  to  enjoy  his  authorit3\  The  exiled  family  made 
several  unsuccessful  attempts  to  destroy  him,  and  at  last  induced  Ven- 
dovi,  by  a  large  bribe,  to  undertake  his  destruction.  Vendovi  managed 
to  get  to  Rewa  unobserved,  and  looking  in  at  the  door  of  Thokanauto's 
house,  saw  Tui  Sawau  lying  on  his  mat  eating.  He  immediately 
levelled  his  musket  and  shot  him.  Four  balls  passed  through  his 
breast,  but  such  was  the  strength  of  his  constitution,  that  he  survived 
for  eight  days.     This  occurred  in  the  yoar  1827. 

When  it  became  known  at  Ambau  that  this  fratricide  had  been 
committed,  the  queen  and  her  sons  returned  to  Rewa,  and  Kania 
assumed  the  direction  of  the  government,  to  the  exclusion  of  Thoka- 

The  character  of  Phillips,  who  calls  himself  the  white  man's  friend, 
is  rather  equivocal.  He  is  said  while  young  to  have  been  fed  mostly 
on  human  flesh.  When  I  saw  him  on  board  my  ship  at  Levuka,  I 
told  him  I  had  heard  that  he  liked  this  food,  and  I  thought  that  he 
showed  much  shame  at  being  considered  a  cannibal  by  us.  His 
youthful  practices,  which  he  told  as  though  some  credit  were  due  to 
himself  for  a  change  in  his  latter  conduct,  will  tend  to  show  how- 
early  these  natives  employ  themselves  in  inflicting  pain  on  each 
other.  One  of  these  was  to  set  a  sharp-pointed  stick  in  the  ground, 
cover  it  with  earth,  and  then  challenge  another  boy  to  jump  with 
him.  He  would  then  leap  in  such  a  manner  that  the  boy  on  follow- 
ing his  example  would  alight  upon  the  pointed  stick,  and  run  it 
through  his  foot.  He  is  said  also  to  be  frequently  employed  by  the 
king  as  an  instrument  of  his  vengeance.     The  missionaries  relate  that 

R  E  W  A.  135 

he  was  once  sent  to  kill  a  native  by  the  king's  order,  upon  which  he 
went  to  the  person's  house,  and  told  him  that  "  The  king  has  sent  me 
to  kill  you ;"  to  which  he  replied,  "  It  is  good  only  that  I  should  die." 
Phillips  struck,  but  only  stunned  him,  after  which  he  returned,  and 
told  the  king  he  had  not  succeeded  in  killing  him.  When  the  man 
recovered,  Phillips  Vv^as  again  sent  back,  and  succeeded  in  giving 
him  his  deathblow,  which  he  received  with  the  same  resignation  as 
before.  Notwithstanding  his  bad  traits,  he  is  certainly  one  of  the 
most  intelligent  natives  that  I  have  met  with  in  all  Polynesia.  He 
possesses  much  information  respecting  his  own  people,  and  would,  if 
the  king  allowed  it,  be  the  means  of  effecting  many  improvements. 
He  has  already  introduced  some  into  his  own  establishment,  and  is 
very  desirous  of  learning,  but  he  unfortunately  has  not  sufficient 
knowledge  to  distinguish  between  good  and  evil.  He  visits  all  the 
vessels  that  touch  at  this  group,  and  says  that  he  passes  most  of  his 
time  on  board  of  them.  He  produces  many  recommendations  from 
their  commanders,  which,  besides  recommending  him,  give  the  very 
salutary  precaution  of  always  being  on  their  guard  while  among  these 

The  prisoners  on  board  the  Peacock  were  early  in  motion  on  the 
following  morning,  looking  anxiously  for  the  return  of  Ngaraningiou; 
and  many  speculations  were  thrown  out  as  to  whether  he  would 
succeed  in  his  errand,  or  connive  at  the  escape  of  Vendovi.  The 
hatred  he  was  known  to  bear  Vendovi,  was  in  favour  of  his  return 
with  him,  either  dead  or  alive.  These  surmises  were  shortly  put  to 
rest,  by  the  appearance  of  the  large  canoe  emerging  from  the  mouth 
of  the  river,  which  drew  all  to  watch  its  approach.  It  soon  came 
alongside,  and  Vendovi  was  recognised  as  a  prisoner  on  board.  The 
mode  of  his  capture  was  singular,  and  shows  the  force  of  the  customs 
to  which  all  ranks  of  this  people  give  implicit  obedience.  Ngaranin- 
giou, on  arriving  at  Rewa,  went  at  once  to  Vendovi's  house,  and  took 
him  by  surprise.  Going  in,  he  took  his  seat  by  him,  laid  his  hand  on 
his  arm,  and  told  him  that  he  was  wanted,  and  that  the  king  had  sent 
for  him  to  go  on  board  the  man-of-war.  He  immediately  assented, 
and  was  preparing  to  come  at  once,  but  Ngaraningiou  said,  "  Not  till 
to-morrow."  They  passed  the  evening  and  night  together,  and  in  the 
morning  embarked  to  come  on  board. 

Vendovi  was  at  once  brought  on  board  and  delivered  to  Captain 
Hudson,  who  forthwith  examined  him  before  the  king  and  chiefs,  and 
in  the  presence  of  the  officers  of  the  ship,  assembled  in  the  cabin. 
Vendovi  acknowledged  his  guilt  in  causing  the  murder  of  part  of  the 
crew  of  the  Charles  Doggett,  and  admitted  that  he  had  held  the  mate 

136  REWA. 

by  the  arms  while  the  natives  killed  him  with  clubs.  Captain  Hudson 
now  explained  why  he  had  thought  proper  to  retain  the  king  and  the 
others  as  prisoners,  saying  that  the  course  the  affair  had  taken  had 
saved  them  much  trouble,  and  probably  fighting,  for  he  would  have 
thought  it  incumbent  upon  him  to  burn  Rewa,  if  Vendovi  had  not  been 
taken.  The  king  replied,  that  Captain  Hudson  had  done  right ;  that 
he  would  like  to  go  to  America  himself,  they  had  all  been  treated  so 
well ;  that  we  were  now  all  good  friends,  and  that  he  should  ever  con- 
tinue to  be  a  good  friend  to  all  white  men.  Vendovi  was  now  put  in 
irons,  and  the  others  were  told  that  the  ship  would  go  to  Kantavu,  to 
punish  any  other  chiefs  that  had  participated  in  the  act,  and  burn  their 
towns.  They  were  assured  of  our  amicable  disposition  towards  them 
so  long  as  they  conducted  themselves  well ;  and  in  order  to  impress  this 
fully  upon  them,  after  their  own  fashion,  presents  were  made  them, 
which  were  received  gratefully. 

When  the  leave-taking  came,  Phillips  appeared  the  most  dejected 
of  all.  This  seemed  strange  after  the  part  Vendovi  had  taken  in  the 
murder  of  his  brother,  of  one  whom  he  represented  as  having  been 
very  kind  to  him  as  a  protector,  and  with  whom  he  lived  when  the 
fatal  shot  was  fired  by  Vendovi.  Phillips  expressed  himself  in  this 
way,  "  That  as  long  as  Seru  lived  he  could  be  saucy,  but  after  his 
death  he  was  all  alone,  just  like  a  stick."  This  kind  of  opposite 
conduct  is  conformable  to  the  usual  policy  of  this  people,  and  is 
characteristic.  Vendovi,  at  this  time,  was  the  only  one  of  his  brothers 
who  favoured  the  party  of  Phillips,  and  was  among  his  strongest 
adherents.  I  could  mention  many  other  instances  of  the  same  incon- 
sistency of  conduct  on  the  part  of  chiefs. 

All  the  party  were  now  much  affected.  Kania,  the  king,  seated 
himself  on  the  right  side  of  Vendovi,  taking  hold  of  his  arm,  while 
Navumialu  placed  himself  on  the  left.  Phillips  walked  up  and  down 
in  front.  All  shed  tears,  and  sobbed  aloud  while  conversing  in  broken 
sentences  with  their  brother.  The  natives  shed  tears  also,  and  none 
but  Ngaraningiou  remained  unmoved.  The  king  kissed  the  priso- 
ner's forehead,  touched  noses,  and  turned  away.  The  inferior  chiefs 
approached  and  kissed  his  hands,  whilst  the  common  people  crawled 
up  to  him  and  kissed  his  feet.  One  young  man  who  belonged  to  the 
household  of  Vendovi,  was  the  last  to  quit  him  ;  he  wished  to  remain 
with  his  master,  but  was  not  permitted.  In  bidding  farev/ell  to  the 
chief,  he  embraced  his  knees,  kissed  his  hands  and  feet,  and  received  a 
parting  blessing  from  Vendovi,  who  placed  both  his  manacled  hands 
on  his  head.  The  young  man  then  retreated  backwards  towards  the 
ladder,  sighing  and  sobbing  as  though  his  heart  would  break.    The  last 

138  REWA 

during  the  night.  He  also  stated  that  a  black  man  had  been  roastea 
and  eaten  by  the  natives,  but  that  he  himself  did  not  partake.  Nine 
bodies  were  given  up  to  Paddy  Connel,  and  were  taken  on  board, 
sewed  up  in  canvass,  and  sunk  alongside.  The  bodies  afterwards 
floated  on  shore,  and  were  eaten  by  the  natives.  His  statement,  there- 
fore conformed  to  that  of  Paddy  in  all  important  particulars. 

Vendovi  likewise  mentioned  another  act  of  his,  as  follows.  About 
two  years  before,  the  mate  of  the  whale-ship  Nimrod,  of  Sydney,  New 
South  Wales,  landed  at  Kantavu  to  purchase  provisions.  Vendovi 
saw^  some  large  whales'  teeth  in  possession  of  the  mate,  in  order  to 
obtain  which,  he  made  him  and  the  boat's  crew  prisoners.  He  then 
told  the  mate  to  write  to  his  captain  to  ransom  him  and  his  men,  and 
that  he  must  have  fifty  whales'  teeth,  four  axes,  two  plates,  a  case  of 
pipes,  a  bundle  of  fish-hooks,  an  iron  pot,  and  a  bale  of  cloth.  These 
were  all  sent  him,  and  they  were  released,  he  giving  the  mate  a  present 
of  a  head  of  tortoise-shell. 

Captain  Hudson,  having  thus  successfully  accomplished  the  capture 
of  Vendovi,  steered  for  Kantavu,  in  order,  if  possible,  to  bring  to  pun- 
ishment more  of  the  oflenders  ;  but  the  wind  fell  light,  and  he  found 
that  the  ship  had  drifted,  during  the  night,  to  the  eastward  of  the 
Astrolabe  Reef,  and  consequently  would  be  compelled,  in  proceeding 
to  Kantavu,  to  retrace  his  route.  This  would  have  occupied  much 
time,  and  the  prospect  of  gaining  their  port  would  have  been  faint. 
He  therefore  determined,  as  the  allotted  time  for  joining  the  boats  had 
nearly  expired,  to  bear  up  for  the  w'est  end  of  Vitilevu ;  where  I  shall 
now  leave  him,  and  return  to  Levuka,  to  the  rest  of  the  squadron. 








Immediately  after  despatching  Paddy  Conriel  on  his  errand  to 
Captain  Hudson,  Whippy  came  to  me.  He  had  heard,  on  board  the 
ship,  some  intimation  of  the  pm'port  of  the  message  sent  to  Rewa  by 
Connel,  and  he  advised  me  to  be  on  my  guard  for  the  first  movement 
after  Vendovi's  capture.  He  thought  that  an  endeavour  would  be 
made  by  the  people  of  Ambau  to  surprise  the  observatory,  and  to  take 
me  prisoner,  (for  the  purpose  of  ransoming  Vendovi,)  for  they  are 
closely  allied  to  those  of  Rewa.  As  our  distance  from  Ambau  was  no 
more  than  a  few  hours'  travel,  it  would  be  easy  for  Tanoa,  or  his  son 
Seru,  to  fall  upon  us  with  a  thousand  men,  before  we  could  have 
any  notice  whatever  of  their  approach.  After  hearing  all  he  had  to 
say  upon  the  subject,  I  sent  him  for  Tui  Levuka,  who  came  to  my 
tent.  His  amazement  was  great  when  he  was  told  what  was  in  pro- 
gress, and  he  seemed  to  be  almost  beside  himself  for  a  few  moments. 
When  he  was  sufficiently  recovered,  I  told  him  that  I  put  implicit 
confidence  in  him ;  that  if  he  sufi'ered  me  to  be  surprised  by  any  force, 
on  him  and  his  people  would  rest  the  responsibility,  and  that  I  looked 
to  him  to  give  me  the  earliest  notice  of  any  attempt  to  attack  me. 
This  he  accordingly  promised,  and,  at  the  same  time,  he  told  Whippy, 
the  most  probable  persons  from  whom  any  attack  would  come  would 
be  the  mountaineers,  who  were  all  now  under  the  influence  of  Ambau, 
and  would  be  easily  induced  to  attack  us.  A  thousand  of  them,  accord- 
ing to  his  opinion,  might  be  upon  us  in  a  few  hours ;  but  we  had  little 
to  fear  before  dawn  of  day,  for  that  was  the  only  time  at  which  they 
made  an  attack,  choosing  the  time  of  the  second  or  soundest  sleep.     He 


142  SOMU-SOMU. 

then  went  off  to  send  out  his  scouts  and  spies,  in  order  to  bring  me  the 
earliest  information. 

Seru  was  on  board  the  ship  when  I  heard  these  things.  I,  therefore, 
sent  off  word  that  he  should  be  kept  on  board  as  a  kind  of  hostage,  and 
ordered  forty  men  to  reinforce  the  observatory,  after  dark,  for  the  ship 
was  not  near  enough  to  use  our  guns  in  defending  it.  The  night,  how- 
ever, was  quiet,  and  there  were  no  signs  of  the  natives  moving  about 
on  shore.  Indeed  they  are  extremely  averse  to  go  out  after  dark,  from 
a  fear  of  meeting  kalous,  or  spirits.  Seru  was  amused  with  rockets, 
&c.,  on  board,  and  passed  his  time  to  his  satisfaction. 

On  the  21st,  the  ship  was  moved  up  abreast  the  observatory  point, 
in  order  to  protect  it,  and  moored  so  that  her  guns  might  rake  each 
side  of  the  point  in  case  of  an  attack.  The  knoll  on  which  I  had 
erected  the  observatory  was  a  strong  position,  and  we  now  set  to 
work  to  make  it  more  so,  by  clearing  it  of  all  the  rubbish  and  brush- 
wood that  might  afford  cover  to  assailants.  Signals  were  arranged 
with  the  ship  in  case  of  attack,  to  direct  the  fire  of  the  guns,  and 
all  things  made  ready  to  give  any  hostile  force  a  warm  reception. 
About  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening,  Whippy  told  me  that  a  report  had 
reached  Tui  Levuka  that  there  was  trouble  at  Rewa,  and  that  the 
king  and  chiefs  were  prisoners;  but  to  this  we  gave  no  credit  at  the 
time.  In  the  morning,  however,  I  learned  through  him,  that  one 
old  chief  had  got  information  that  Vendovi  was  a  prisoner,  and  that 
the  king  and  queen  would  be  released  ;  in  fact,  nearly  the  whole  story 
that  has  been  related  in  the  preceding  chapter,  reached  Levuka  before 
the  day  on  which  it  occurred  had  passed.  On  inquiring  of  Tui  Levuka, 
through  Whippy,  after  I  had  heard  the  particulars  and  learned  how 
nearly  they  corresponded  with  the  report,  how  he  obtained  his  informa- 
tion, his  answer  was,  "  Did  you  not  tell  me  to  bring  you  the  earliest 
news,  and  have  my  spies  out?'  The  news  must  have  been  brought  a 
distance  of  twenty  miles  in  less  than  six  hours,  for  I  can  scarcely 
believe  that  any  native  could  possibly  have  invented  the  story,  or  could 
have  surmised  what  was  to  take  place. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  the  22d,  Seru  left  the  ship  and  proceeded 
to  Ambau,  although  I  had  been  informed  that  it  was  his  intention  to 
go  to  the  different  islands,  to  bring  us  hogs  and  yams.  Tui  Levuka 
called  my  attention  to  this,  and  also  to  the  fact  that  a  messenger  had 
brought  Seru  intelligence  of  what  had  happened  at  Rewa  during  the 
stay  of  the  Peacock  there,  and  of  the  sailing  of  that  ship  with  Vendovi 
on  board. 

During  this  time  many  things  occurred  to  keep  us  on  the  alert.  On 
the  niarh*  of  the  23d,  the  usual  number  of  men  were  landed  at  the  ob- 

SOMU-SOMU.  143 

servatory,  and  in  the  night  a  musket  was  accidentally  fired,  which,  of 
course,  created  some  stir,  but  it  proved  a  false  alarm  ;  it,  however, 
served  to  keep  up  our  vigilance  in  case  of  attack. 

On  the  26th  the  Flying-Fish  returned,  entering  through  the  reefs 
after  dark.  Lieutenant  Carr  had  executed  the  greater  part  of  the 
duties  pointed  out  in  his  instructions.  Among  these  were  that  of  car- 
rying Tubou  Total,  the  Tonga  chief  already  spoken  of,  to  the  Porpoise. 
He  was  represented  as  an  excellent  pilot  for  the  eastern  group,  and  as 
likely  to  be  of  service  to  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold,  in  pointing 
out  the  shoals  and  reefs,  which  might  save  much  time  in  the  surveying 
operations.  Tubou  spoke  English  tolerably  well.  He  had  been  in 
New  South  Wales,  and  was  a  guest  at  the  Government-House;  talked 
much  of  the  kindness  of  Sir  George  and  Lady  Gipps,  and  amused  me 
by  the  accounts  he  gave  of  the  balls  and  parties  to  which  he  had  been 
invited,  and  of  the  attentions  he  had  received,  particularly  from  the 
ladies.  He  said  that  they  had  admired  him  very  much,  and  called 
him  a  very  handsome  man.  He  knew  well  how  to  behave  himself, 
was  well  acquainted  with  our  habits  and  customs,  and  had  all  the  grace 
and  elegance  of  a  finished  gentleman,  if  one  can  imagine  such  a  being 
in  a  Tongese  Islander.  I  have,  indeed,  seldom  seen  a  native  so  correct 
in  his  deportment.  He  was  a  professing  Christian,  and  might  be 
called  more  than  half  civilized.  He  talked  much  to  me  of  the  gentle- 
men of  Ambau  ;  said  "  they  were  such  fine  fellows,  so  hospitable,  and 
such  gentlemen;  there  was  so  much  pleasure  in  their  society ;  there 
was  nothing  like  Feejee  fashions."  I  spoke  to  him  of  their  eating  human 
flesh,  but  he  could  not  be  brought  to  talk  of  it,  and  invariably  refused 
to  answer  my  questions  in  relation  to  that  horrible  custom,  except  as 
regarded  himself.  He  said  that  he  never  touched  it.  At  times  he 
would  evade  the  question  by  saying,  "  Feejee  country  was  a  fine 
country,"  and  be  silent. 

Tubou  Total  is  the  brother  of  Lajika,  who  is  generally  an  attendant 
of  the  preaching  of  the  missionaries.*  The  brothers  are  somewhat 
alike  in  point  of  face  and  feature,  but  Lajika  is  much  darker  in  com- 
plexion, and  seems  to  have  some  Feejee  blood  in  his  veins.  I  learned 
from  one  of  the  missionaries  that  the  family  of  these  Tongese  was  of 
Feejee  origin,  their  name  being  derived  from  the  principal  fortress  on 
Lakemba,  called  Tumboa.  They  are  well  received  in  the  group,  and 
hospitably  entertained  by  the  kings  and  chiefs  of  Ambau.     The  minor 

*  The  proselytes  of  the  missionaries  consist  altogether  of  the  few  Tongese  that  are  now 
in  the  group;  these  reside  principally  at  Lakemba,  and  from  what  I  imderstood  are  the  fol- 
lowers of  Lajika  and  Tubou  Totai. 

144  SOMU-SOMU. 

chiefs  and  people  have,  however,  different  feelings,  and  call  them 
impudent  and  greedy  fellows,  saying  they  breed  a  famine  wherever 
they  go. 

Lieutenant  Carr  also  took  with  him,  as  a  messenger  or  ambassador 
from  Tanoa,  an  Ambau  chief  of  some  note,  called  Corodowdow.  He 
was  a  true  savage,  well  formed,  and  of  extraordinary  size,  being  six 
feet  thi'ee  inches  in  height;  his  features  were  finely  formed,  and  his 
countenance  of  the  European  cast;  his  colour  a  deep  black;  his  hair 
was  frizzled ;  he  had  a  fine  eye,  and  an  intelligent  expression,  and 
seemed  not  wanting  in  quickness  of  apprehension.  He  devoured  his 
food  at  first  like  a  savage,  and  had  a  portentous  appetite  :  a  fowl  was 
but  a  small  portion  of  a  meal  for  him.  He  is  said  to  have  improved 
in  his  style  of  feeding,  and  to  have  been  able  to  use  a  knife  and  fork 
on  his  return.  Few  men  showed  to  more  advantage  in  the  Feejee 
costume  ;  the  sala  and  seavo  of  the  white  tapa  cloth,  set  off  well  his 
colossal  and  dark  figure. 

Both  Tubou  and  Corodowdow  had  their  suites  of  slaves,  who  were  a 
great  nuisance  to  both  officers  and  men  ;  and  had  I  been  aware  before 
engaging  them,  that  we  m.ust  take  their  attendants  also,  I  am  now 
inclined  to  think  I  should  have  dispensed  with  their  services  altogether. 
Corodowdow  fell  in  love  with  a  French  print  of  a  female  that  belonged 
to  one  of  the  officers,  and  was  hanging  up  in  the  tender's  cabin,  which 
he  would  sit  admiring  for  hours  together. 

Tom  Granby  was  sent  in  the  tender  to  act  as  a  pilot,  and  Lieutenant 
Underwood  went  also  with  a  boat's  crew. 

Lieutenant  Carr  reached  Lakemba  on  the  morning  of  the  17th.  He 
was  immediately  visited  by  the  Reverend  Mi'.  Calvert,  the  resident 
missionary,  who  informed  him  that  it  was  Lieutenant-Commandant 
Ringgold's  intention  to  return  in  a  few  days.  The  letter  and  despatches 
were  therefore  given  to  Mr.  Calvert ;  and  Tubou  and  Corodowdow, 
with  their  attendants,  were  sent  on  shore.  They  were  both  dressed 
out  in  their  best  attire,  and  when  they  made  their  appearance  the 
natives  all  prostrated  themselves,  uttering,  at  the  same  time,  a  low 
moan.  For  the  kindness  shown  him,  Corodowdow  presented  Mr. 
Sinclair  with  his  long  bone  or  hair-pricker,  as  a  mark  of  his  friendship, 
telling  him  it  was  made  from  the  thigh-bone  of  one  of  his  enemies 
whom  he  had  killed  in  battle. 

Leaving  Lakemba,  Lieutenant  Carr  proceeded  wdth  the  tender  to 
Vanua-vatu,  where  they  began  their  surveys.  The  tender's  boats 
were  launched,  and  the  island  was  circumnavigated.  It  rises  gradu- 
ally, on  all  sides,  to  the  height  of  several  hundred  feet,  and  is  covered 
with  foliage ;  it  is  six  miles  in  circumference,  and  is  encircled  by  a 

S  O  M  U  .  S  O  M  U.  145 

reef,  through  which  there  are  two  entrances  for  boats,  but  neither  of 
them  is  sufficiently  wide  for  the  entrance  of  a  vessel.  This  island  is 
not  inhabited,  but  the  natives  resort  there  for  the  purpose  of  fishing. 

Lieutenant  Carr  next  surveyed  the  Tova  Reef,  which  was  found 
about  equidistant  from  Totoia,  Moala,  and  Vanua-vatu.  He  repre- 
sents it  as  one  of  the  most  dangerous  outlying  reefs  in  the  group ;  it  is 
a  mile  in  diameter,  and  nearly  circular:  the  two  former  islands  are  in 
sight  from  it,  but  the  latter,  being  low,  was  not  seen.  At  low  water 
this  reef  is  quite  dry,  and  it  then  forms  a  snug  basin,  into  which  there 
is  a  shallow  passage  for  boats.  The  soundings  within  the  reef  were 
found  extremely  irregular,  varying  from  two  to  fourteen  feet.  At 
high  water  the  reef  is  entirely  covered,  and  the  sea  breaks  on  it  at  all 

The  next  island  that  claimed  Lieutenant  Carr's  attention  was  Totoia. 
Here  he  discovered  a  passage  leading  through  the  reef,  into  which  he 
went  with  the  tender,  and  anchored  in  fifteen  fathoms,  half  a  mile 
distant  from  the  shore.  They  found  hei-e  a  canoe  from  Vavao, 
manned  by  Tongese.  Totoia  is  high  and  much  broken ;  it  resembles 
the  rest  of  the  group  in  its  volcanic  formation ;  it  is  covered  with 
luxuriant  foliage,  and  has  many  fertile  valleys.  On  the  morning  of 
the  20th,  in  heaving  up  the  anchor  in  order  to  proceed  with  the 
survey,  it  broke  at  the  crown,  and  the  flukes  were  lost:  an  incident 
which  does  not  say  much  for  the  goodness  of  the  anchorage  on  the 
northern  side.  Lieutenant  Carr  thinks  that  this  harbour  can  be  useful 
only  as  a  temporary  refuge.  It  is  filled  with  broken  patches,  has  very 
irregular  soundings,  from  three  to  thirty  fathoms,  and  the  passages 
between  these  patches  are  quite  narrow  and  tortuous.  The  weather 
setting  in  bad,  they  were  obliged  to  forego  the  examination  of  a  small 
part  of  the  southern  portion  of  the  reef  for  openings :  it  is  believed, 
however,  that  none  exist. 

Among  the  whites  and  natives  in  the  group,  the  natives  of  this 
island  have  the  reputation  of  being  more  ferocious  and  savage  than 
any  other ;  they  are  said  to  be  constantly  at  war,  and  are  obliged  to 
reside  on  the  highest  and  most  inaccessible  peaks,  to  prevent  surprise 
and  massacre.  Water  and  wood  may  be  obtained  here  in  sufficient 
abundance,  but  whoever  visits  the  island  should  be  cautious  and  con- 
tinually on  their  guard. 

Matuku  was  the  next  island.  Of  this  they  began  the  survey  on  the 
southeastern  side,  whence  they  passed  round  the  southern  shore.  On 
the  western  side  they  discovered  an  opening  through  the  reef,  through 
which  they  passed,  and  anchored  in  one  of  the  best  harbours  in  the 
group.     This  I  have  called  Carr's  Harbour.     Its  entrance  is,  perhaps, 

VOL.  III.  N  19 

146  S  O  M  U  -  S  O  M  U. 

too  narrow  for  a  ship  to  beat  in,  which  the  prevalence  of  easterlv 
winds  would  generally  require  to  be  done;  but  the  channel  to  it  is 
quite  clear  of  patches,  and  the  passage  through  the  reef  is  a  good  one, 
though  long.  Within  the  reef  there  is  a  circular  basin  of  large  extent, 
in  all  parts  of  which  a  ship  may  select  her  berth  with  good  bottom. 
On  anchoring  in  the  harbour,  the  natives  appeared  on  the  beach,  armed 
with  clubs,  spears,  and  muskets,  and  evidently  with  no  friendly  intent. 
They  were  very  shy  at  first,  but,  after  some  persuasion,  were  induced 
to  bring  off  cocoa-nuts,  yams,  &c.  They  said  they  were  at  war  with 
their  neighbours  on  the  mountains.  Their  village  was  close  by  the 
anchorage,  covered  and  embosomed  in  trees.  There  never  was  but 
one  small  vessel  in  the  harbour  before,  which  had  traded  for  tortoise- 
shell.  Wood  and  water  are  to  be  had  here  in  plenty.  The  natives 
resemble  those  of  the  other  islands,  and  are  considered  as  possessing 
skill  in  the  use  of  their  arms. 

The  face  of  the  island  is  broken  into  volcanic  peaks,  but  has  many 
fertile  valleys,  and  it  was  thought  to  exceed  any  of  the  other  islands 
in  beauty.  After  surveying  the  harbour,  they  proceeded  with  the 
survey  around  the  island ;  and,  as  the}^  were  about  finishing  it,  a 
native  came  off  to  visit  them ;  but  all  that  they  could  understand  from 
him  was,  that  he  professed  to  be  a  Christian. 

On  the  eastern  side,  between  the  islands,  there  is  a  small  opening, 
leading  through  the  reef,  but  it  is  full  of  patches  of  coral,  and  offers  no 
facility  for  vessels. 

Moala  was  next  visited.  It  is  a  high  volcanic  island.  There  is  an 
opening  through  the  reef,  on  the  west  side,  that  leads  to  an  inferior 
harbour,  which  the  boats  surveyed.  They  found  here  a  white  man, 
calling  himself  Charley,  who  was  of  some  use  to  them  in  pointing  out 
the  localities.  Lieutenant  Carr  sent  him,  the  next  morning,  with  the 
boats,  to  examine  a  supposed  harbour,  into  which,  in  consequence  of 
the  light  winds,  the  tender  was  unable  to  enter.  The  reef  on  the  north 
side  of  Moala  resembles  that  of  Totoia,  being  a  collection  of  sunken 
and  detached  patches.  The  reef  on  the  northeast  makes  off  to  the 
distance  of  two  and  a  half  miles.  After  passing  it,  there  is  a  deep  in- 
dentation in  the  island,  with  a  broad  passage  through  the  reef,  leading 
to  a  safe  and  very  fine  harbour,  and,  what  is  unusual,  the  passage  is 
sufliciently  wide  for  a  vessel  to  beat  out.  This,  however,  would 
seldom  be  necessary,  as  there  are  several  passages  through  the  reef  to 
the  westward,  which  are  safe  with  a  leading  wind. 

This  island  affords  wood,  water,  and  some  provisions,  and  has  about 
seven  hundred  inhabitants. 

The   imprudence   and   over-confidence   of  Lieutenant   Underwood 

SOMU-SOMU.  147 

was  very  near  involving  them  in  difficulties ;  and  had  it  not  been 
for  the  timely  caution  of  Charley,  there  is  little  doubt  but  a  disaster 
would  have  happened  to  them.  The  two  boats  were  under  charge  of 
Lieutenant  Underwood  and  Passed  Midshipman  Sinclair.  In  the 
foremost  of  them  was  a  chief  of  the  island,  in  the  latter  was  Charley. 
Lieutenant  Underwood  approached  the  shore-reef,  with  the  intention  of 
getting  some  hogs  and  yams,  which  he  had  sent  the  natives  to  seek ; 
but  they  would  not  trade  unless  the  boats  landed,  and  this  Lieutenant 
Carr  had  expressly  ordered  Lieutenant  Underwood  not  to  do.  When 
the  natives  discovered  they  could  not  be  induced  to  land,  they  col- 
lected in  great  numbers,  headed  by  a  chief,  became  very  noisy,  and 
showed  signs  of  hostility.  Lieutenant  Underwood,  notwithstanding 
the  precautionary  orders,  was  unprepared  to  meet  an  attack  ;  and  the 
necessity  of  resorting  to  their  arms  was  only  thought  of,  when  Charley 
called  out,  "  You  had  better  stand  to  your  arms,  gentlemen ;  they  are 
after  mischief"  Upon  this  the  boat  was  immediately  hauled  out. 
When  the  arms  were  displayed,  the  natives  took  to  their  heels. 

According  to  Charley,  these  islanders,  not  long  since,  seized  a  boat 
belonging  to  a  trader,  and,  after  plundering  it,  would  only  liberate  the 
crew  on  receiving  a  large  ransom.  Such  appears  to  have  been  the 
over-confidence  and  carelessness  of  some  of  the  officers  on  these  boat 
duties,  that  they  neglected  not  only  the  strict  orders,  to  be  at  all  tiaies 
prepared,  but  likevi^ise  needlessly  put  in  jeopardy  the  lives  of  the  men 
entrusted  to  them.  It  is  now,  on  looking  back,  a  wonder  to  me  that 
we  escaped  accident  so  long  as  we  did,  and  certainly  not  extraordinary 
that  one  did  at  last  happen.  I  am  well  satisfied,  that  had  full  attention 
been  paid  to  the  orders  given,  and  specially  impressed  upon  all,  no 
disaster  could  have  happened. 

Lieutenant  Carr,  finding  that  his  time  was  almost  expired,  deter- 
mined to  proceed  to  Ovolau,  by  passing  close  to  the  Mothea  Reef,  off 
the  southern  point  of  Nairai.  On  the  25th,  the  tender  anchored  at 
Levuka.  On  receiving  Lieutenant  Carr's  report,  I  immediately 
despatched  him  to  survey  the  passage  round  the  western  side  of 
Ovolau.  The  eastern  portion,  together  with  the  harbour  of  Levuka, 
had  already  been  completed  by  the  Vincennes.  Lieutenant  Carr  had, 
in  the  performance  of  this  duty,  reached  the  island  of  Moturiki,  when 
the  time  allotted  for  the  purpose  had  expired.  He  accordingly  left 
the  two  boats  under  Lieutenant  Underwood,  to  complete  the  remain- 
ing part  of  the  work,  which  occupied  them  two  days,  during  which 
time,  it.  appears,  from  Passed  Midshipman  May's  account,  they  had 
another  narrow  escape  from  disaster,  under   the  following   circum- 


stances.  The  night  the  boats  left  the  tender,  they  imprudently  landed 
on  the  island  of  Moturiki,  where  they  unloaded  their  boats,  allowing 
the  natives  to  help  them  up,  and  then  removed  all  the  things  out  of 
them  up  to  the  mbure,  although  there  was  reason  to  apprehend,  from 
their  conduct,  that  mischief  was  meditated.  They  deemed  it  neces- 
sary to  have  sentinels  posted,  and  all  the  men  remained  with  their 
arms  by  their  side.  The  natives  before  ten  o'clock  had  dispersed, 
except  ten  or  fifteen,  who  were  seemingly  on  the  watch.  These  were 
discovered  passing  in  some  clubs,  which  were  secretly  laid  by  a  log. 
Lieutenant  Underwood  then  determined  to  compel  them  all  to  quit  the 
house,  which  they  did,  going  out  in  rather  a  sulky  manner.  The 
moment  the  tide  floated  the  boats,  it  was  thought  necessary  to  load 
them  and  shove  off.  They  then  anchored,  and  passed  the  remainder 
of  the  night  in  them.  The  next  night,  for  greater  safety,  they  sought 
shelter  from  the  rain  and  wet  under  the  rocks,  which  caused  them 
much  difficulty  in  lighting  their  fires.  This  was  not  overcome  until 
their  old  native  guide  took  the  tinder,  and,  ascending  a  tall  cocoa-nut 
tree  to  the  fronds,  quickly  returned  with  a  blazing  torch.  Having 
finished  the  survey  of  that  part  of  the  Moturiki  Passage  assigned  them, 
they  returned  to  the  ship  at  Levuka. 

The  island  of  Moturiki  is  almost  in  contact  with  that  of  Ovolau  to 
the  south  of  it.  The  same  reef  extends  around  both  of  them,  and 
there  is  no  passage  between  them,  except  for  boats  and  canoes.  A 
large  square  castellated  rock  lies  midway  between  them,  called  Lau- 
dolib,  of  which  there  is  a  tradition,  that  Ndengei  was  bringing  it  to 
block  up  the  big  passage  of  Moturiki,  which,  according  to  the  natives, 
leads  to  his  dominions,  but  being  overtaken  by  daylight,  he  dropped  it 
where  it  now  lies. 

Moturiki  is  three  miles  long,  and  one  broad ;  it  is  not  so  much 
broken  as  Ovolau,  though  it  rises  in  its  centre,  forming  a  high  ridge. 
There  are  two  small  islands,  named  Leluvia  and  Thangala,  to  the  south 
of  it,  and  between  these  and  Moturiki  is  the  entrance  to  the  bay  of 
Ambau,  termed  the  Moturiki  Passage  :  this  is  about  tw^o  miles  long, 
and  is  a  mile  in  width  towards  its  eastern  end ;  the  tide  flows  strongly 
through  it,  and  the  flood  sets  to  the  westward. 

On  the  28th,  I  had  a  visit  from  Tanoa's  youngest  son,  Rivaletta, 
who  is  a  fine-looking  young  man,  about  eighteen  years  of  age.  He 
was  accompanied  by  a  number  of  young  fellows  of  his  own  age,  but 
could  not  be  induced  to  visit  the  ship,  either  from  fear  of  detention,  or, 
as  Tui  Levuka  told  me,  because  he  had  no  presents  to  give  in  return 
for  those  which  he  should  receive,  and  therefore  would  not  pay  a  visit 

S  O  M  U  -  S  O  M  U.  149 

until  he  could  comply  with  this  custom.  He  was,  as  I  afterwards 
learned,  the  bearer  of  a  message  to  the  king  of  Muthuata,  to  claim  his 
daughter  as  a  wife  for  old  Tanoa. 

It  is  not  at  all  surprising  that  the  chiefs  and  people  of  Ambau 
should  be  so  much  detested  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  group.  As  an 
instance  of  the  outrages  they  are  in  the  habit  of  committing,  Riva- 
letta,  after  refusing  to  visit  the  ship  and  the  observatory,  went  to  a 
village  on  the  mountains,  from  which  the  inhabitants  fled  with  their 
valuables  for  fear  of  losing  them.  Failing  thus  in  his  intention  of 
plunder,  he  immediately  set  fire  to  the  town,  and  left  it  a  heap  of  ruins. 
He  departed  the  same  day  for  Vanua-levu. 

The  tender  having  returned  to  Ovolau,  I  made  preparations  to  leave 
that  place. 

The  launch  and  cutter  under  Lieutenant  Alden  and  Passed  Mid- 
shipman Knox,  had  also  returned  from  the  survey  of  the  north  side 
of  Vitilevu,  as  far  as  its  west  end,  and  of  Malolo.  Lieutenant  Alden 
reported  the  natives  of  the  latter  island  as  being  extremely  hostile  to 
the  whites,  and  having  a  very  bad  character. 

A  native  stole  a  knife  from  one  of  the  men.  Tui  Levuka  proposed 
killing  him,  but  was  told  not  to  do  so  :  the  thief  was  taken  on  board, 
and  confined  for  two  days,  when  he  was  released,  as  I  did  not  think 
his  guilt  was  sufficiently  established.  The  moment  he  was  fiee  he 
jumped  overboard  and  swam  on  shore. 

The  schooner  Currency  Lass,  which  we  had  seen  at  Tonga,  arrived 
on  the  30th,  bringing  me  letters  from  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ring- 
gold, by  which  I  learned  they  were  all  well,  and  proceeding  rapidly 
with  their  work.  The  Currency  Lass,  since  she  had  left  Tonga,  had 
been  at  Wallis  Island  (Ilea),  where  the  Roman  Catholic  missionaries 
had  succeeded  in  gaining  over  one  half  of  the  population.  The  Devil's 
men  had  attacked  the  converts,  and  had  laid  a  plan  to  cut  off  the 
schooner.  The  missionaries,  however,  gave  timely  notice  of  it,  and 
the  abrupt  departure  of  the  vessel  was  the  only  thing  that  saved  her, 
which  the  wind  fortunately  enabled  her  to  accomplish,  for  a  large 
number  of  canoes  had  approached  the  vessel,  and  were  waiting  for  a 
reinforcement,  when  they  intended  to  make  the  attack.  The  services 
of  the  Catholic  priests  on  board  the  Currency  Lass  not  being  required 
by  their  brethren,  they  afterwards  went  to  Hoorn  Island,  where  they 
were  landed  and  kindly  received  by  the  natives. 

Not  being  able  to  spare  the  services  of  Lieutenant  Carr  as  first 
lieutenant,  I  transferred  him  to  the  Vincennes,  and  ordered  Lieu- 
tenant Case  to  the  tender.  Lieutenant  Carr  was  put  in  charge  of  the 
'observatory,  while  Lieutenant  Alden  in  the  launch,  and  Mr.  Knox  in 


150  SOMU-SOMU. 

the  first  cutter,  were  relieved  by  Lieutenant  Perry  and  Mr.  De  Haven. 
Both  boats  received  new  crews,  and  proceeded  to  survey  the  reefs 
by  Passage  Island,  and  thence  to  Vanua-levu.  I  enibarked  in  the 
tender  on  the  3d  of  June,  and  by  night  anchored  off  Mbua  or  Sandal- 
wood Bay,  where  I  had  appointed  to  meet  the  Peacock.  We  burnt 
blue-lights  and  sent  off  rockets,  but  received  no  answer,  and  in  the 
morning  found  the  ship  had  not  arrived. 

I  obtained  sights  on  shore  for  the  meridian  distance,  and  stood  into 
the  bay  to  examine  it.  This  done,  I  anchored  a  buoy,  with  a  sealed 
bottle  and  flag  attached  to  it,  for  Captain  Hudson,  containing  further 
instructions.  In  consequence  of  the  delays  he  had  met  with,  he  had 
not  been  able  to  reach  the  bay  at  the  appointed  time.  I  then  returned. 
The  passage  back  was  rather  more  diflicult  to  make,  for  the  wind  was 
ahead  part  of  the  way.  In  the  afternoon,  while  beating  up,  although 
we  had  Tom  at  the  masthead,  we  grounded  in  the  tender  between  two 
coral  knobs ;  but,  the  tide  rising,  we  were  soon  enabled  to  get  off,  and 
towards  evening  we  anchored  under  Rabe-rabe  Point,  which  offers  a 
safe  shelter.  All  vessels  navigating  among  these  islands,  should  anchor 
during  the  night,  whenever  it  is  possible  to  do  so. 

In  the  morning,  at  a  seasonable  hour,  we  reached  Passage  Island, 
where  I  met  Lieutenant  Perry  and  Mr.  De  Haven  by  appointment. 
Here  I  extended  their  orders.  Having  acquired  a  further  knowledge 
of  the  ground,  and  after  observations  for  time  and  latitude,  and  a  round 
of  angles,  we  again  set  out  for  Ovolau,  leaving  Lieutenant  Perry  and 
Mr.  De  Haven  to  continue  their  work  along  the  immense  coral  reef, 
which  nearly  forms  a  junction  between  the  two  large  islands. 

Levuka  was  reached  at  2  a.  m.  ;  here  I  found  H.  B.  M.  schooner 
Starling,  Lieutenant  Kellet,  consort  of  the  Sulphur,  Captain  Belcher, 
on  a  similar  duty  with  ourselves.  Lieutenant  Kellet  informed  me  that 
the  Sulphur,  in  going  into  Rewa,  had  struck  on  some  coral  lumps  in 
the  north  passage,  and  lost  her  rudder;  and  the  object  of  Lieutenant 
Kellet's  visit  was  to  obtain  aid,  or  new  pintles  for  that  ship.  As  those 
of  the  Vincennes  were  thought  to  be  too  large,  I  at  once  ordered  a 
boat  to  be  manned,  and  sent  under  charge  of  Lieutenant  Underwood 
to  Mbua  Bay  (seventy  miles),  to  the  Peacock,  for  the  purpose  of 
obtaining  those  belonging  to  that  ship.  It  afforded  me  great  pleasure 
to  be  of  service  to  any  of  Her  Majesty's  ships,  and  knowing  how 
important  it  was  to  have  prompt  and  efficient  aid,  there  was  no  delay. 
I  had  the  pleasure  of  a  few  hours'  conversation  with  Lieutenant  Kellet, 
but  as  my  appointment  with  the  Porpoise  rendered  it  necessary  that  I 
should  meet  her  at  the  town  of  Somu-somu,  on  the  island  of  Vuna,  I 
was  soon  obliged  to  leave  Levuka  for  the  eastern  part  of  the  group. 

SOMU-SOMU.  151 

In  the  mean  time,  I  obtained  my  return  meridian  distances  and  the 
night  observations. 

Before  I  left  Levuka,  Seru,  Tanoa's  eldest  son,  paid  us  another  visit, 
and  brought  some  hogs  and  other  provisions,  as  a  present.  On  this 
occasion,  his  conduct  towards  Mr.  Vanderford  was  not  what  it  should 
have  been,  for  he  appropriated  some  of  that  officer's  property  to  him- 
self. I  regret  I  did  not  learn  this  until  some  time  afterwards,  for  1  had 
no  opportunity  of  speaking  to  Seru  again ;  but  I  sent  him  word  that 
his  conduct  was  not  approved  of,  and  he  must  not  take  such  a  liberty 

Orders  were  left  with  Lieutenant  Carr  to  despatch  Lieutenant 
Underwood  and  Passed  Midshipman  Sandford,  with  two  boats,  to 
survey  the  islands  of  Ambatiki,  Nairai,  and  Angau,  all  of  which  are 
in  sight  from  Ovoiau. 

At  five  o'clock  the  next  morning  we  were  under  way,  in  the  tender, 
with  two  boats  of  the  Vincennes  in  company,  and  crossed  over  to 
Wakaia,  where  I  left  Passed  Midshipmen  Knox  and  May  to  survey 
that  island  and  Mokungai,  with  their  reefs.  Here  I  fixed  a  station,  and 
observed,  with  the  theodolite,  on  the  distant  signals.  I  then  made  an 
endeavour  to  get  out  of  the  reef,  but  the  weather  looking  bad,  I  put 
back  and  anchored  in  a  snug  bay,  which  I  had  called  Flying-Fish 
Harbour.  This  is  on  the  west  side  of  the  island  of  Wakaia,  and  has 
two  passages  through  the  reef  to  it. 

The  next  morning  we  again  got  under  way,  and  stood  for  Nemena, 
or  Direction  Island,  where  we  anchored,  after  passing  through  a 
narrow  passage  in  its  outlying  reef.  Direction  Island  forms  two  high 
regular  hills,  covered  with  a  dense  foliage.  It  is  not  inhabited,  being 
only  occasionally  resorted  to  for  turtles  by  the  natives. 

On  the  7th,  we  were  engaged  in  the  survey  of  the  island  and  reef, 
with  the  boats,  w'hile  I  fixed  a  station  on  its  western  summit,  where  I 
passed  the  day  observing  for  longitude  and  latitude  and  angles,  on  all 
the  points,  peaks,  and  signals,  in  sight. 

In  the  evening,  we  sailed  for  Vuna  Island.  The  wind  was  very 
light,  and  we  did  not  make  much  progress,  but  spent  the  greatest  part 
of  the  next  day  in  getting  up  with  the  island.  Not  wishing  to  be 
detained,  I  took  my  gig  and  pulled  for  Somu-somu,  where  I  communi- 
cated with  the  missionaries,  Messrs.  Hunt  and  Lylhe,  who  had  heard 
nothing  of  the  Porpoise;  and  as  the  townspeople  were  rather  uproari- 
ous, keeping  a  feast,  I  thought  it  advisable  that  I  should  repair  to  the 
small  island  of  Corolib,  about  a  mile  and  a  half  from  it  in  the  strait. 
Towards  dark,  not  seeing  any  thing  of  the  tender,  and  having  been 
supplied  with  some  yams,  &c.,  by  the  missionaries,  I  went  to  the  island 

152  S  O  M  U  -  S  O  M  U. 

to  pass  the  night  there.  Its  only  inhabitants  were  goats,  which  we 
drove  from  a  cave,  in  which  we  built  our  fire,  and  made  ourselves 
comfortable  for  the  night,  keeping  two  men  on  guard  to  prevent 
surprise.  The  tender  did  not  reach  the  anchorage  until  late.  On 
anchoring,  they  made  signals,  but  I  was  snug  in  the  cave  and  did  not 
see  or  hear  them,  and  of  course  they  got  no  answer.  Lieutenant  Case 
and  the  officers  on  board  became  uneasy,  for  there  was  shouting  and 
yelling  on  shore,  with  war-songs  and  dances,  as  at  their  cannibal 
feasts;  and  it  required  but  little  imagination  in  the  vicinity  of  such  a 
people  as  the  Feejees,  to  give  birth  to  the  idea  that  we  had  been  sur- 
prised and  cut  off.  They  had  their  boarding-nettings  triced  up,  and 
spent  a  very  uncomfortable  night.  At  daylight,  however,  they  dis- 
covered the  gig  under  Goat  Island,  and  I  joined  them  soon  after.  In 
the  forenoon  I  visited  the  missionaries,  Messrs.  Hunt  and  Lythe,  with 
their  ladies.  They  were  living  in  a  large  house,  formerly  occupied 
by  the  king,  called  Tui  Thakau.  As  he  was  an  old  man  and  incapable 
of  moving  about,  I  at  once  called  upon  him.  He  was  a  fine  specimen 
of  a  Feejee  Islander,  and  bore  no  slight  resemblance  to  our  ideas  of  an 
old  Roman.  His  figure  was  particularly  tall  and  manly,  and  he  had  a 
head  fit  for  a  monarch.  The  king's  oldest  son  now  exercises  all  the 
powers  of  king;  he  is  a  large,  well-made,  and  truly  savage-looking 
fellow;  and  from  the  accounts  of  the  missionaries  and  others,  his 
temper  and  disposition  correspond  with  his  looks.  His  name  is  Tui 

Somu-somu,  although  one  of  the  chief  towns  of  Feejee,  acknow- 
ledges a  sort  of  subjection  to  Ambau.  The  cause  of  this  is  found  in  an 
ancient  tradition  of  a  contest  between  their  respective  tutelar  spirits, 
in  which  the  spirit  of  Somu-somu  was  overcome,  and  compelled  to 
perform  the  tama  or  salute  due  to  a  superior,  to  the  god  of  Ambau. 

The  town  of  Somu-somu  contains  about  two  hundred  houses,  which 
are  more  straggling  than  any  I  had  yet  seen.  It  is  partly  built  below 
a  bluff,  which  affords  a  very  safe  retreat  and  strong  defence  to  its  in- 
habitants, and  is  divided,  therefore,  into  a  lower  and  upper  town.  The 
old  mbure  near  the  missionaries'  house  is  nearly  gone  to  decay.  Here 
was  found  the  only  carved  image  I  saw  in  the  group ;  it  was  a  small 
figure  cut  out  of  solid  wood,  and  the  missionaries  did  not  seem  to  think 
that  it  was  regarded  by  the  people  with  any  reverence.  The  priest 
appears  to  have  taken  up  his  abode  with  the  old  king,  and  was  appa- 
rently held  in  great  reverence. 

The  town  is  situated  on  the  northwest  side  of  the  island  of  Vuna, 
which  is  separated  from  tlie  island  of  Vanua-levu,  or  the  large  land, 
by  a  strait  five  miles  wide  in  its  narrowest  part,  which  I  have  called 

so  M  U.-SO  M  U.  153 

the  Strait  of  Somu-somu.  The  island  of  Vuna  rises  gradually  to  a 
central  ridge,  the  height  of  which,  by  several  measurements,  was 
found  to  be  two  thousand  and  fifty-two  feet.  The  summit  is  generally 
covered  with  clouds.  From  its  gradual  rise,  and  its  surface  being 
smoother,  it  is  susceptible  of  a  much  higher  state  of  cultivation  than 
the  other  islands;  the  soil  is  a  rich  reddish  loam,  and  it  appears  to 
be  considered  as  the  most  fruitful  of  the  islands.  At  the  same  time,  its 
inhabitants  ai-e  acknowledged  by  all  to  be  the  most  savage.  Cannibal- 
ism prevails  here  to  a  greater  extent  than  any  where  else. 

The  length  of  Vuna  is  twenty-five  miles',  and  its  breadth  five  miles. 
Although  there  is  a  navigable  passage  between  Vuna  and  Corolib,  yet, 
it  is  made  somewhat  intricate  by  sunken  coral  knolls  and  banks  of 
sand.  These  shoals  extend  two  miles  beyond  the  island,  into  the  strait. 
The  tides  are  strong',  but  set  through  the  strait.  Calms  and  light  winds 
prevail,  in  consequence  of  its  being  under  the  lee  of  the  high  land  of 
Vuna,  which  makes  the  passage  through  it  tedious  and  uncertain. 

Corolib,  or  Goat  Island,  I  made  one  of  my  stations,  as  it  commanded 
most  of  those  we  had  been  at ;  and  I  obtained  the  necessary  observa- 
tions to  secure  its  position. 

I  dined  and  spent  the  afternoon  with  the  missionaries  and  their 
ladies,  and  heard  a  recital  of  some  of  the  trials  they  have  been  sub- 
jected to.  I  cannot  but  feel  astonished  that  they  can  endure  to  live 
among  such  a  horde  of  savages.  Their  house  is  a  tolerably  comfort- 
able one,  and  they  have  a  few  Tongese  around  them  as  servants,  some 
of  whom  are  converted ;  but  all  the  rest  of  the  inhabitants  are  canni- 
bals. Mr.  Hunt  was  kind  enough  to  give  me  an  account  of  some  of 
the  scenes  they  had  to  witness,  which  will  convey  an  idea  of  what 
their  situation  is,  and  what  they  have  had  to  undergo. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hunt,  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lythe,  arrived  at  Somu- 
somu  in  August,  1839,  and  consequently  at  the  time  of  our  visit  they 
had  been  there  nearly  a  year. 

On  the  11th  of  February,  1840,  one  of  their  servants  informed 
them  that  the  king  had  sent  for  two  dead  men  from  Lauthala,  a  town 
or  koro  not  far  from  Somu-somu.  On  inquiring  the  reason,  he  knew 
of  none  but  that  the  king  was  angry ;  this  was  sufficient  to  know,  and 
in  some  degree  prepared  them  for  what  they  shortly  afterwards  had  to 
witness.  They  now  found  that  their  servant  was  only  partly  informed, 
for,  instead  of  two  men,  they  soon  observed  eleven  brought  in,  and 
knew  that  a  feast  was  to  take  place.  Messrs.  Hunt  and  Lythe  went 
to  the  old  king,  to  urge  him  to  desist  from  so  barbarous  and  horrid  a 
repast,  and  warned  him  that  the  time  would  come  when  he  would  be 
punished  for  it.     The  king  referred  him  to  his  son,  but  the  savage  pro- 

VOL.  TIT.  20 

]  54  S  O  M  U  -  S  O  M  U. 

pensities  of  the  latter  rendered  it  impossible  to  turn  him  from  his  bar- 
barous purposes. 

On  the  day  of  the  feast  the  shutters  of  their  house  were  closed,  in 
order  to  keep  out  the  disgusting  smell  that  would  ensue,  but  Mr. 
Hunt  took  his  station  just  within  his  fence,  and  witnessed  the  whole 
that  follows.  The  victims  were  dragged  along  the  ground  with 
ropes  around  their  necks,  by  these  merciless  cannibals,  and  laid,  as  a 
present  to  the  king,  in  the  front  of  the  missionaries'  house,  which  is 
directly  opposite  the  king's  square,  or  public  place  of  the  town.  The 
cause  of  the  massacre  was,  that  the  people  of  Lauthala  had  killed  a 
man  belonging  to  the  king's  koro,  who  was  doing  some  business  for 
the  king;  and,  notwithstanding  the  people  of  Lauthala  are  related  to 
the  king,  it  was  considered  an  unpardonable  offence,  and  an  order  was 
given  to  attack  their  town.  The  party  that  went  for  this  purpose 
came  upon  the  unsuspecting  village  when  (according  to  themselves) 
they  were  neither  prepared  for  defence  nor  flight,  or,  as  they  described 
it  to  Mr.  Hunt,  *'  at  the  time  the  cock  crows,  they  open  their  eyes  and 
raise  their  heads  from  sleep,  they  rushed  in  upon  them,  and  clubbed 
them  to  death,"  without  any  regard  to  rank,  age,  or  sex.  All  shared 
the  same  fate,  whether  innocent  or  guilty.  A  large  number  were 
eaten  on  the  spot.  No  report  makes  this  less  than  thirty,  but  others 
speak  of  as  many  as  three  hundred.  Of  these  it  is  not  my  intention  to 
speak,  but  only  of  what  was  done  with  the  eleven  presented  to  the 
king  and  spirit. 

The  utmost  order  was  preserved  on  this  occasion,  as  at  their  other 
feasts,  the  people  approaching  the  residence  of  the  king  with  every 
mark  of  respect  and  reverence,  at  the  beat  of  the  drum.  When 
human  bodies  are  to  be  shared,  the  king  himself  makes  a  speech, 
as  he  did  on  this  occasion.  In  it  he  presented  the  dead  to  his 
son,  and  intimated  that  the  gods  of  Feejee  should  be  propitiated, 
that  they  might  have  rain,  &c.  The  son  then  rose  and  publicly 
accepted  the  gift,  after  which  the  herald  pronounced  aloud  the  names 
of  the  chiefs  who  were  to  have  the  bodies.  The  different  chiefs 
take  the  bodies  allotted  to  them  away  to  their  mbures,  there  to  be 

The  chief  of  Lauthala  was  given  to  their  principal  god,  whose 
temple  is  near  the  missionaries'  house.  He  was  cut  up  and  cooked 
two  or  three  yards  from  their  fence,  and  Mr.  Hunt  stood  in  his  yard 
and  saw  the  operation.  He  was  much  struck  with  the  skill  and 
despatch  with  which  these  practised  cannibals  performed  their  work. 
While  it  was  going  on,  the  old  priest  was  sitting  in  the  door  of  his 
temple  giving  orders,  and  anxiously  looking  for  his  share.     All  this, 

SOMU-SOMU.  155 

Mr.  Hunt  said,  was  done  with  the  most  perfect  insensibility.  He 
could  not  perceive  the  least  sign  of  revenge  on  the  part  of  those  who 
ate  them,  and  only  one  body  was  given  to  the  injured  party.  Some  of 
those  who  joined  in  the  feast  acknowledged  that  the  people  of  Lau- 
thala  were  their  relations,  and  he  fully  believes  that  they  cooked  and 
ate  them,  because  they  were  commanded  to  do  so.  The  coolness,  Mr. 
Hunt  further  remarked,  with  which  all  this  was  done,  proved  to  him 
that  there  was  a  total  want  of  feeling  and  natural  affection  among 

After  all  the  parts  but  the  head  had  been  consumed,  and  the  feast 
was  ended,  the  king's  son  knocked  at  the  missionaries'  door,  (which 
was  opened  by  Mr.  Hunt,)  and  demanded  why  their  windows  were 
closed  ?  Mr.  Hunt  told  him  to  keep  out  the  sight  as  well  as  the  smell 
of  the  bodies  that  were  cooking.  The  savage  instantly  rejoined,  in 
the  presence  of  the  missionaries'  wives,  that  if  it  happened  again,  he 
would  knock  them  in  the  head  and  eat  them. 

The  missionaiies  were  of  opinion,  that  after  these  feasts,  the  chiefs 
become  more  ferocious,  and  are  often  very  troublesome.  In  the  pre- 
sent case,  they  attempted  to  bring  accusations  against  the  missionaries, 
that  they  might  have  a  pretext  for  plundering  them,  but  the  only  fault 
they  could  find  to  complain  of  was,  that  they  did  not  receive  presents. 
The  missionaries'  conduct  was  firm  and  decided,  telling  them  if  they 
desired  the  property,  they  must  take  it  by  force.  This  the  natives 
seemed  afraid  to  do,  and  after  they  were  fully  convinced  they  could 
not  intimidate  them,  showed  a  desire  to  become  friends.  The  mission- 
aries then  took  them  a  present,  which  they  were  glad  to  accept,  and 
gave  one  in  return,  as  a  make-peace,  since  which  time  they  have  lived 
in  peace. 

I  know  of  no  situation  so  trying  as  this  for  ladies  to  live  in,  par- 
ticularly when  pleasing  and  well-informed,  as  we  found  those  at 

The  missionaries  have  made  but  slow  advancement  in  their  work, 
and  there  is  but  little  to  be  expected  as  long  as  the  people  remain  under 
their  present  chiefs,  for  they  dare  not  do  any  thing  but  what  they 
allow  them.  All  the  chiefs  seemed  to  look  upon  Christianity  as  a 
change  in  which  they  had  much  to  lose  and  little  to  gain.  The  old 
chiefs,  in  particular,  would  often  remark,  that  they  were  too  old  to 
change  their  present  for  new  gods,  or  to  abandon  what  they  considered 
their  duty  to  their  people  ;  yet  the  chiefs  generally  desire  the  residence 
of  missionaries  among  them.  I  was,  therefore,  anxious  to  know  why 
they  entertained  such  a  wish,  when  they  had  no  desire  for  their  instruc- 
tion.    They  acknowledged  that  it  was  to  get  presents,  and  because  il 

156  SOMU-SOMU. 

would  bring  vessels  to  their  place,  which  would  give  them  opportunities 
of  obtaining  many  desirable  articles. 

The  presents  from  the  missionaries  are  small ;  but  an  axe,  or 
hatchet,  or  other  articles  of  iron,  are  acquisitions,  in  their  minds, 
which  their  covetousness  cannot  forego  the  opportunity  of  obtaining. 
They  express  themselves  as  perfectly  willing  that  the  missionaries 
should  worship  their  own  spirit,  but  they  do  not  allow  any  of  the 
natives  to  become  proselytes,  and  none  are  made  without  their  sanc- 
tion, under  fear  of  death. 

It  is  not  to  be  supposed,  under  this  state  of  things,  that  the  success 
of  the  missionaries  will  be  satisfactory,  or  adequate  to  their  exertions, 
or  a  sufficient  recompense  for  the  hardships,  deprivations,  and  strug- 
gles which  they  and  their  families  have  to  encounter.  There  are  few 
situations  in  which  so  much  physical  and  moral  courage  is  required, 
as  those  in  which  these  devoted  and  pious  individuals  are  placed  ;  and 
nothing  but  a  deep  sense  of  duty,  and  a  strong  determination  to  per- 
form it,  could  induce  civilized  persons  to  subject  themselves  to  the 
sight  of  such  hoi-rid  scenes  as  they  are  called  upon  almost  daily  to 

On  the  afternoon  of  the  9th,  the  Porpoise  joined  me  here,  agreeably 
to  appointment. 

On  the  10th,  I  endeavoured  to  get  the  chiefs  on  board  the  Porpoise 
to  sign  the  treaty,  or  regulations,  which  the  chiefs  of  Ambau  and 
Rewa  had  done.  For  this  purpose  I  gave  them  an  invitation  to  come 
on  board ;  but  no  inducement  could  persuade  them  to  place  themselves 
in  our  power,  for  fear  of  a  like  detention  with  Vendovi.  Finding  that 
they  were  determined  to  persist  in  their  refusal  to  come  on  board,  I 
asked  that  a  council  of  chiefs  should  be  held  on  shore.  To  this  the 
king  agreed,  and  issued  his  orders  for  the  meeting.  It  took  place  in 
his  house,  which  is  built  much  after  the  fashion  of  an  mbure,  thouo-h 
of  larger  dimensions ;  it  had  four  apertures  for  doors ;  the  fire-place 
was  in  one  corner,  and  part  of  the  house  was  curtained  off  with  tapa. 
A  large  number  of  junk-bottles  were  hung  from  a  beam,  both  for  use 
and  to  display  his  wealth,  for  they  are  very  much  valued.  The  king 
also  possessed  a  chair,  two  chests,  and  several  muskets.  The  former 
he  seemed  to  take  much  pleasure  in  sitting  in,  having  discovered,  as  he 
told  the  interpreter,  that  they  were  very  comfortable  for  an  old  man. 
We  had  a  full  meeting,  and  I  was  much  struck  with  the  number  of 
fine-looking  men  who  were  present.  Their  complexions  were  dark, 
and  they  resembled  one  another  more  than  any  collection  of  natives  I 
had  before  seen  in  the  group. 

The  two  sons  of  the  king  were  present.     Tui  Illa-illa,  who  is  the 

SOMU-SOMU.  157 

actual  king,  is  held  much  in  awe  by  the  people.  The  regulations, 
after  a  full  explanation  of  their  objects,  were  signed,  or  rather  they 
made  their  mark,  for  the  first  time,  on  paper.  The  old  king  has 
always  been  friendly  to  the  whites,  but  his  son  is  considered  quite 
unfriendly  towards  them ;  and  it  is  thought,  by  the  missionaries,  that 
were  it  not  for  the  old  man,  and  the  fear  of  punishment  by  a  man-of- 
war,  they  would  not  be  safe. 

Messrs.  Hunt  and  Lythe  acted  as  interpreters  on  this  occasion,  but 
not  until  after  the  one  I  had  chosen  was  unable  to  make  them  under- 
stand. This  was  intentional  on  my  part,  for  I  did  not  wish  the  king 
and  natives  to  think  that  the  missionaries  had  had  any  part  in  the  pro- 
ceeding ;  and  they  did  not  undertake  the  otfice  until  the  king  and 
chiefs  desired  their  assistance.  Besides  the  signing,  we  had  the  clap 
ping  of  hands  and  thighs,  and  the  three  audible  grunts  of  satisfaction 
from  the  audience.  The  meeting  broke  up  with  a  distribution  of 
presents,  and  all,  I  believe,  went  away  satisfied. 

The  ceremony  attending  the  ava  drinking  of  the  king,  at  Somu- 
somu,  is  peculiar.  Early  in  the  morning,  the  first  thing  heard  is  the 
king's  herald,  or  orator,  crying  out,  in  front  of  his  house,  "  Yango-na 
ei  ava,"  somewhat  like  a  muezzin  in  Turkey,  though  not  from  the 
housetop.  To  this  the  people  answer,  from  all  parts  of  the  koro, 
"  Mama,"  (prepare  ava.)  The  principal  men  and  chiefs  immediately 
assemble  together  from  all  quarters,  bringing  their  ava-bowl  and  ava- 
root  to  the  mbure,  where  they  seat  themselves  to  talanoa,  or  to  con- 
verse on  the  affairs  of  the  day,  while  the  younger  proceed  to  prepare 
the  ava.  Those  who  prepare  the  ava  are  required  to  have  clean  and 
undecayed  teeth,  and  are  not  allowed  to  swallow  any  of  the  juice,  on 
pain  of  punishment.  As  soon  as  the  ava-root  is  chewed,  it  is  thrown 
into  the  ava-bowl,  where  water  is  poured  on  it  with  great  forma- 
lity. The  king's  herald,  with  a  peculiar  drawling  whine,  then  cries, 
"  Sevu-rui-a-na,"  (make  the  offering.)  After  this,  a  considerable  time 
is  spent  in  straining  the  ava  through  cocoa-nut  husks;  and  when  this 
is  done,  the  herald  repeats,  with  still  more  ceremony,  his  command, 
"  Sevu-rui-a-na."  When  he  has  chaunted  it  several  times,  the  other 
chiefs  join  him,  and  they  all  sing,  "  Mana  endina  sendina  le."  A 
person  is  then  commanded  to  get  up  and  take  the  king  his  ava,  after 
which  the  singing  again  goes  on.  The  orator  then  invokes  their  prin- 
cipal god,  Tava-Sava,  and  they  repeat  the  names  of  their  departed 
friends,  asking  them  to  watch  over  and  be  gracious  to  them.  They 
then  pray  for  rain,  for  the  life  of  the  king,  the  arrival  of  wangara 
Papalangi  (foreign  ships),  that  they  may  have  riches  and  live  to  enjoy 
them.     This  prayer  is  followed  by  a  most  earnest  response,  "  Mana 

158  SOMU-SOMU, 

endina,"  (amen,  amen.)  They  then  repeat  several  times,  "  Mana 
endina  sendina  le."  Every  lime  this  is  repeated  they  raise  their 
voices,  until  they  reach  the  highest  pitch,  and  conclude  with 
"  0-ya-ye,"  which  they  utter  in  a  tone  resembling  a  horrid  scream. 
This  screech  goes  the  rounds,  being  repeated  by  all  the  people  of  the 
koro,  until  it  reaches  its  farthest  limits,  and,  when  it  ceases,  the  king 
drinks  his  ava.  All  the  chiefs  clap  their  hands,  with  great  regularity, 
while  he  is  drinking,  and,  after  he  has  finished  his  ava,  the  chiefs  drink 
theirs,  without  any  more  ceremony.  The  business  of  the  day  is  then 
begun.  The  people  never  do  any  thing  in  the  morning  before  the  king 
has  drunk  his  ava.  Even  a  foreigner  will  not  venture  to  work  or  make 
a  noise  before  that  ceremony  is  over,  or  during  the  preparation  of  it, 
if  he  wishes  to  be  on  good  terms  with  the  king  and  people. 

It  is  almost  impossible  to  conceive  the  horrible  particulars  relative 
to  these  natives,  that  have  come  under  the  personal  observation  of  the 
missionaries,  and  are  not  for  a  moment  to  be  doubted,  from  such 
respectable  authority.  They  told  me,  that  during  their  residence  they 
had  known  of  only  one  instance  of  a  natural  death,  all  having  been 
strangled  or  buried  alive  I  Children  usually  strangle  their  feeble  and 
aged  parents,  and  the  sick  that  have  been  long  ill  are  always  killed. 

Dr.  Lythe  pointed  out  to  me  a  chief  of  high  rank,  who  had  strangled 
his  own  mother,  as  he  himself  saw.  They  went  in  procession  to  the 
grave,  the  mother  being  dressed  in  her  best  attire,  and  painted  in  the 
Feejee  fashion.  On  arriving  at  the  grave,  a  rope  of  twisted  tapa  was 
passed  around  her  neck,  when  a  number  of  natives,  besides  the  son, 
taking  hold  of  each  end,  soon  strangled  and  buried  her. 

Dr.  Lythe  had  a  patient,  a  young  girl,  in  a  most  crhical  state.  She 
was  scarce  fourteen,  when  she  was  brutally  violated  by  the  same  high 
chief  who  had  strangled  his  mother ;  and  much  injury  had  resulted, 
in  large  swellings,  which  they  attempted  to  cure,  according  to  the 
Feejee  custom,  by  large  gashes  with  sharp  bamboos,  but  without 
success.  The  seducer  had  determined  to  destroy  her,  when  Dr.  Lythe 
heard  of  it,  and,  by  interceding,  after  much  difficulty  and  I'idicule; 
was  allowed  to  take  her  away,  and  put  her  under  treatment. 

Some  time  previous  to  our  arrival,  Katu  Mbithi,  the  youngest  son 
of  Tni  Thakau,  was  lost  at  sea,  on  the  knowledge  of  which  event  the 
whole  population  went  into  mourning.  He  was  much  beloved  by  the 
king.  All  his  wives  were  strangled,  with  much  form  and  ceremony. 
Some  accounts  make  their  number  as  high  as  seventy  or  eighty ;  the 
missionaries  stated  it  below  thirty. 

There  were  various  other  ceremonies,  not  less  extraordinary.  To 
supply  the  places  of  the  men  who  were  lost  with  Katu  Mbithi,  the 

SOMU-SOMU.  159 

same  number  of  boys,  from  the  ages  of  nine  to  sixteen,  were  taken 
and  circumcised.  For  this  ceremony  long  strips  of  white  native  cloth 
were  prepared  to  catch  the  blood  when  the  foreskin  was  cut.  These 
strips,  when  sprinkled  with  blood,  were  tied  to  a  stake,  and  stuck  up 
in  the  market-place.  Here  the  boys  assembled  to  dance,  for  six  or 
seven  nights,  a  number  of  men  being  placed  near  the  stakes,  with  a 
native  horn  (a  conch-shell),  which  they  blew,  while  the  boys  danced 
around  the  stake  for  two  or  three  hours  together.  This  dance  con- 
sisted of  walking,  jumping,  singing,  shouting,  yelling,  &c  ,  in  the  most 
savage  and  furious  manner,  throwing  themselves  into  all  manner  of 
attitudes.  The  blowing  of  the  conch  was  any  thing  but  musical ;  but 
this  is  not  always  the  case,  for  some  of  their  performances  have  a  kind 
of  rude  music  in  them,  which  the  missionaries  thought  was  not  unlike 
in  sound  to  that  which  is  made  in  a  Jewish  synagogue,  which  cer- 
tainly gives  the  best  idea  of  the  music  of  a  Feejee  dance-song. 

After  the  circumcision  of  the  boys,  many  of  the  female  children  had 
the  first  joint  of  their  little  fingers  cut  off".  The  ceremonies  ended  by 
the  chiefs  and  people  being  assembled  in  the  market-place  to  witness 
the  institution  of  the  circumcised  boys  to  manhood.  In  doing  this,  a 
large  leaf  is  taken,  of  which  they  make  a  w^ater-vessel,  which  is  placed 
in  the  branches  of  a  tree.  The  boys  are  then  blindfolded  very  closely, 
and  armed  with  clubs  or  sticks  ;  they  are  then  led  about  until  they 
have  no  recollection  of  the  situation  of  the  tree,  after  which  they  seek 
the  vessel,  and  endeavour  to  strike  it.  The  first  who  succeeds  in 
knocking  it  down  was  to  be  considered  as  the  future  great  warrior. 
Two  or  three  managed  to  hit  the  vessel,  amid  shouts  and  applause  of 
the  concourse.  The  sticks  were  afterwards  thrown  on  the  graves  of 
the  wives  of  Katu  Mbithi. 

Katu  Mbithi  was  considered  the  finest  man  in  the  group,  and  the 
favourite  of  his  father,  the  old  king,  who  in  passing  an  eulogy  upon 
him,  ascribed  to  him  all  the  beauty  that  a  man  could  possess  in  the 
eyes  of  a  Feejee  man.  He  concluded  by  speaking  of  his  daring  spirit 
and  consummate  cruelty,  and  said  that  he  would  kill  his  own  wives  if 
they  offended  him,  and  would  afterwards  eat  them ! 

On  the  8th  of  August,  1839,  seventeen  of  the  wives  of  Mbithi  were 
strangled,  very  near  the  houses  of  the  missionaries,  who  heard  their 
groans  and  saw  the  whole  ceremony.  They  considered  it  a  privilege 
to  be  strangled  as  the  wives  of  the  great  chief 

The  feast  made  on  this  occasion  was  said  to  have  surpassed  any 
thing  that  had  before  taken  place  in  Somu-somu.  Immense  quantities 
of  food  were  prepared  for  it;  one  hundred  baked  hogs  were  given  to 
the  people  of  one  town  alone;  and  it  is  said  that  after  such  occurrences 

160  SOMU-SOMU. 

it  becomes  necessary  to  lay  a  taboo,  in  order  that  a  famine  may  not 
be  the  result  of  so  much  waste. 

To  give  some  idea  of  what  the  ladies  of  the  missionaries  here  have 
to  endure  from  such  a  savage  as  Tui  Illa-illa,  he  will  at  times  come 
into  their  house  and  walk  directly  into  any  room  he  pleases,  take  up 
any  thing  he  has  a  fancy  to,  and  endeavour  to  carry  it  off.  He  has 
not  unfrequently  been  found  by  them  before  their  dressing-cases  fixing 
and  arranging  himself.  He  carries  off  spoons,  knives,  and  forks, 
which,  on  being  sent  for,  are  returned.  One  thing  may  be  said  in  his 
favour,  that  he  has  never  attempted  any  rudeness  to  the  ladies,  farther 
than  a  desire  to  make  use  of  their  dressing-cases.  The  very  sight  of 
such  a  savage,  six  feet  three  inches  in  height,  and  proportionately  stout, 
and  the  thought  of  his  cannibal  appetite,  are  calculated  to  intimidate 
persons  with  stronger  nerves  than  these  ladies.  How  they  are  enabled 
to  endure  it,  I  am  at  a  loss  to  understand. 

I  paid  several  visits  to  the  old  king,  and  every  time  with  more 
interest.  He  looks  as  if  he  were  totally  distinct  from  the  scenes  of 
horror  that  are  daily  taking  place  around  him,  and  his  whole  coun- 
tenance has  the  air  and  expression  of  benevolence.  The  picture  of 
him  sitting  plaiting  his  sennit,  surrounded  by  his  wives  and  family,  all 
engaged  in  some  kind  of  work,  was  truly  pleasing,  and  they  would 
frequently  feed  him  with  the  care  of  love  and  affection.  Such  cheer- 
fulness as  reigns  among  them  is  quite  remarkable.  He  was  very 
desirous  of  making  me  presents,  and  among  the  curiosities  I  accepted 
was  a  huge  head-dress,  in  shape  somewhat  like  a  cocked-hat.  It  is 
represented  in  the  wood-cut  at  the  end  of  this  chapter. 

I  met  his  son  Tui  Illa-illa,  and  having  understood  that  he  was  the 
cause  of  his  father's  not  having  come  on  board,  I  took  care  to  show 
him  that  I  was  not  afraid  of  coming  among  them,  however  much  they 
feared  to  trust  themselves  on  board  the  vessel.  He  said  he  understood 
I  had  a  brother  of  the  king  of  Rewa  prisoner,  which  afforded  me  an 
opportunity  of  letting  the  interpreter  give  the  account  of  the  Vendovi 
transaction,  and  to  say,  that  although  many  years  might  pass  over, 
yet  any  one  who  committed  an  act  of  the  kind  would  be  sure  to  meet 
with  punishment  sooner  or  later,  and  that  he  himself  would  be  punished 
if  any  disturbance  or  harm  happened  to  the  whites,  particularly  the 
missionaries.  It  seemed  to  have  its  effect  upon  both  the  old  and  young 
king,  and  I  took  advantage  of  the  moment  to  make  them  both  promise 
to  protect  the  missionaries  and  their  families  against  any  harm. 

The  tender  having  returned  with  the  boats  of  the  Porpoise  from 
surveying  the  straits  opposite  Goat  Island,  we  received  on  board 
Tubou  Totai  and  Corodowdow,  together  with  their  suites;  and  I  was 



happy  to  be  able  to  give  the  Rev.  Mr.  Hunt  a  passage  to  Rewa,  whither 
I  intended  proceeding  on  my  return  to  Levuka.  Mr.  Hunt  was  going 
for  the  purpose  of  oflering  to  take  the  charge  of  the  children  of  the 
Rev.  Mr.  Cargill,  who  had  met  with  the  melancholy  loss  of  his  wife 
shortly  after  the  Peacock  had  left  Rewa.  From  this  gentleman  I 
obtained  much  information,  and  found  that  he  confirmed  a  great  deal 
of  that  which  I  have  already  given.  He  was  obliging  enough  to  act 
as  my  interpreter  on  many  occasions  afterwards. 









It  has  been  stated  tnat  the  Porpoise  parted  company  with  the  Vin- 
cennes  on  the  8th  May,  off  the  island  of  Fulanga.  From  this  time, 
until  June  9th,  when  I  met  her  at  Somu-somu,  Lieutenant-Comman- 
dant Ringgold  had  been  engaged  in  the  survey  of  the  eastern  islands 
of  the  group ;  and  it  is  now  time  that  I  should  revert  to  the  operations 
in  which  he  had  been  engaged. 

A  heavy  gale  blowing  from  the  southward  and  eastward  for  several 
hours,  and  which  afterwards  hauled  to  the  northeast,  was  followed, 
after  it  moderated,  by  heavy  rain.  These  prevented  the  surveys 
from  being  commenced  as  early  as  I  had  hoped.  When  it  cleared  off, 
the  work  was  begun  at  the  southeast  island,  called  Ongea.  There 
are,  in  fact,  two  islands  enclosed  in  the  same  reef,  called  Ongea-levu 
and  Ongea-riki.  A  good  entrance  was  found  on  the  northwest  side 
of  the  reef,  and  a  harbour,  to  which  the  name  of  Port  Refuge  was 
given ;  but  there  is  little  or  no  inducement  to  enter  it,  for  the  islands 
are  barren,  and  no  water  is  to  be  found.  A  few  wretched  inhabitants 
are  on  them.     The  position  of  these  islands  is  given  in  the  tables. 

Three  miles  to  the  southward  and  eastward  of  Ongea  is  a  dangerous 
reef  and  sand-bank,  called  Nugu  Ongea. 

Fulanga  was  the  next  examined.  This  is  a  fine  island,  surrounded 
by  the  usual  coral  reef,  which  has  an  entrance  through  it  on  the 
northeast  side,  (suitable  for  small  vessels,)  that  expands  into  a  large 
basin,  whh  many  islets  and  reefs,  where  large  quantities  of  biche  de 
mar  have  been  gathered.  The  boats  circumnavigated  this  island, 
and  their  crews  were  on  shore  all  night,  in  consequence  of  having 
been  obliged  to  return  to  the  place  where  they  first  began  their  worl<-, 



and  of  there  being  no  possibility  of  passing  over  the  reef  to  enable 
them  to  join  the  brig  before  the  night  closed  in.  They  were  kindly 

During  the  night  a  heavy  squall  was  experienced  from  the  north- 
northwest,  with  vivid  lightning  and  rain ;  but  the  following  day  proved 
fine.  In  the  morning  the  boats  rejoined  the  brig  and  brought  off  a 
native  who  gave  his  name  as  Tiana,  and  through  Jim,  the  interpreter, 
they  gathered  the  information  that  the  island  is  subject  to  Tui  Neau, 
king  of  Lakemba.  He  also  gave  the  names  of  all  the  islands  in  sight 
He  knew  our  flag,  and  spoke  of  vessels  often  visiting  this  island. 

In  preparing  the  boats  for  service  after  dinner,  an  accident  happened 
which  nearly  proved  fatal  to  a  man  named  Henry  Hammond ;  in 
passing  the  arms  into  the  boat,  one  of  the  carbines  went  off  when  the 
muzzle  was  within  six  inches  of  his  side;  he  gave  a  loud  shriek,  and 
fell ;  his  shirt  took  fire  from  the  explosion,  and  all  thought  the  ball  had 
DBSsed  through  his  body;  but  his  position  was  fortunately  such  that  it 
only  passed  through  the  integuments,  and  came  out  about  three  inches 
from  the  place  where  it  entered,  having  glanced  off  from  one  of  the 
short  ribs.     The  wound  did  not  prove  dangerous. 

The  boats  left  the  brig  in  the  afternoon,  under  the  pilotage  of  Tiana, 
finished  the  survey  of  the  island,  and  made  the  west  bluff  of  Fulanga, 
by  triangulation,  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  high.  They  then  returned, 
bringing  on  board  a  chief  of  the  island,  whose  name  was  Soangi,  and 
the  native  missionary  from  Tonga,  called  Toia.  Neither  of  them  had 
any  covering  but  the  maro.     They  remained  on  board  all  night. 

In  the  morning,  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  and  several 
officers  visited  the  island.  The  passage  through  the  reef  was  intri- 
cate, and  a  strong  tide  was  rushing  through  it.  After  passing  the 
reef,  an  extensive  basin,  with  numerous  islets  and  reefs  in  it,  is 
reached,  in  which  the  water  is  deep  and  of  a  dark  blue  colour.  The 
islets  are  composed  of  scoriaceous  materials  of  volcanic  origin,  and, 
what  seemed  singular,  was  their  being  undermined  by  the  action  of 
the  sea  to  the  distance  of  ten  or  twelve  feet.  Some  of  the  rocks  had, 
in  consequence,  the  appearance  of  a  large  overhanging  shelf,  of  the 
form  of  a  mushroom. 

They  landed  at  the  village  at  the  head  of  the  bay,  which  consists 
of  twenty  or  thirty  huts.  These  were  of  an  oval  form,  and  composed 
of  a  light  frame  covered  with  mats.  They  contained  little  else  than  a 
few  mats  spread  on  the  ground,  and  had  but  a  temporary  appearance. 
The  natives  were  civil,  and  had  picked  up  some  phrases  in  English, 
in  which  they  soon  began  to  beg  for  small  articles,  such  as  buttons, 
needles,  &c.     They  sold  their  fowls  and  vegetables  for  tobacco,  cloth. 


and  knives.  Their  stock,  however,  was  not  very  abundant,  and  they 
had  no  yams.  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  supplied  them  with 
some  for  planting,  and  also  with  Indian  corn,  potatoes,  onions,  &c. 
The  native  missionary,  who  is  one  of  the  most  prominent  men  among 
the  inhabitants,  received  directions  for  planting  them,  and  he  promised 
that  they  should  be  well  taken  care  of. 

This  island  is  one  of  those  on  which  fine  timber  grows,  and  is,  there- 
f  )re,  resorted  to  by  the  Vavao  and  Friendly  Islanders  for  building 
canoes.  Three  of  these  were  seen  in  the  process  of  construction, 
under  a  long  shed,  one  of  which,  on  measurement,  was  found  to  be  one 
hundred  and  two  feet  long,  seven  feet  wide,  and  five  feet  deep,  of 
a  beautiful  model;  the  other  two  were  somewhat  smaller.  The 
builders  said  that  they  were  constructing  them  for  a  Vavao  chief, 
called  Salomon,  for  the  Tonga  war.  The  work  was  performed  under 
a  contract,  and  the  price  agreed  on  was  to  be  paid  in  whales'  teeth, 
axes,  guns,  &c.  Salomon  was  at  the  village,  and  went  off"  with  Lieu- 
tenant-Commandant Ringgold  to  the  brig,  for  the  purpose  of  accom- 
panying him  to  the  other  islands.  He  was  a  remarkably  handsome 
man,  and  resembled  the  Tonga  chiefs  more  than  the  other  Feejees. 

There  is  another  village  situated  on  the  southeast  side  of  the  island, 
but  it  is  inaccessible  by  water  except  for  canoes.  Good  water,  fruit, 
vegetables,  and  poultry,  can  be  obtained  here;  the  natives  are  friendly, 
and  under  the  care  of  a  Tongese  missionary.  The  population  was  one 
hundred  and  fifty  souls,  three-fourths  of  whom  were  converts  to  Chris- 
tianity. They  manufactured  native  cloth,  mats,  and  other  articles  of 
Feejee  property  in  abundance. 

Just  before  the  brig  made  sail,  they  were  boarded  by  a  large  double 
canoe,  in  which  there  were  fifteen  persons,  bringing  quantities  of  fowls 
and  taro  for  trade.  This  canoe  resembled  those  which  have  been 
described  as  seen  at  Tonga,  with  a  platform,  and  had  the  immense 
triangular  mat-sail.  Salomon  said  that  it  was  capable  of  containing 
two  hundred  persons. 

•Assistant-Surgeon  Holmes  obtained  some  few  botanical  specimens, 
and  the  other  officers  many  shells.  The  beach  abounded  with  very 
good  oysters,  and  many  small  turtles  were  seen. 

At  Fulanga  several  cases  of  severe  pulmonary  and  cutaneous  dis- 
eases were  observed  by  Dr.  Holmes,  and  also  a  case  of  well-marked 
consumption  in  a  young  woman. 

After  liberally  rewarding  the  chief  and  missionary,  Lieutenant- 
Commandant  Ringgold  bore  away  for  Kambara,  having  first  surveyed 
the  small  island  of  Moramba,  which  is  half  a  mile  in  diameter.     It  is 


well  wooded,  and  is  surrounded  by  a  reef,  but  offers  no  facilities  to 

Enkaba,  which  is  two  miles  long  by  one  wide,  is  inhabited,  well 
wooded,  and  has  a  breach  in  the  reef,  but  no  harbour. 

Kambara  was  the  next  island  in  course.  It  is  of  a  rectangular 
form,  is  about  three  miles  and  a  half  long  and  two  wide,  and  is  the 
westernmost  of  what  I  have  termed  the  Eastern  Group.  It  is  fertile 
and  well  wooded ;  its  timber  is  esteemed  above  that  of  all  the  other 
islands  of  the  group  for  canoe-building ;  and  cocoa-nut  groves  abound 
along  its  shores.  The  island  is  not  entirely  surrounded  by  the  reef, 
which  is  wanting  on  the  northwest  side.  On  examination  it  proved  to 
have  no  anchorage  for  large  vessels,  but  small  ones  and  boats  may 
find  protection.  This  island  may  be  known  by  a  remarkable  bell- 
shaped  peak  on  its  northwest  side,  which  is  a  good  landmark.  It  is 
covered  with  rich  verdure,  and  was  found  to  be  three  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  high. 

Tabanaielli  is  a  small  uninhabited  island  on  the  western  side  of 

Namuka,  which  was  the  next  to  claim  attention,  has  a  very  exten- 
sive reef  surrounding  it,  and  offers  no  anchorage.  There  are  but  few 
natives  upon  it. 

Angasa  and  three  smaller  islands  are  enclosed  in  one  extensive  reef, 
along  with  several  small  uninhabited  islets.  Angasa  is  the  largest  and 
most  eastern  of  them.  It  is  easily  distinguished,  and  is  remarkable  for 
long  regular  ridges,  that  extend  through  the  centre,  and  appear  as 
though  they  had  been  artificially  formed. 

Ularua  is  a  small  desolate  island  encompassed  by  an  extensive 

To  the  north  of  these  were  found  two  small  islands,  Komo-levu  and 
Komo-riki,  enclosed  in  the  same  reef,  through  which  there  is  a  passage 
on  the  northeast  side.  Good  anchorage  was  found  here,  except  in 
northeast  winds. 

Motha  lies  to  the  eastward  of  Komo.  It  is  one  of  the  most  pictu- 
resque islands  in  the  group,  with  an  undulating  surface;  its  hills  wei'e 
more  free  of  wood  than  those  they  had  before  surveyed;  it  is  about 
two  miles  in  diameter,  and  is  surrounded  by  an  extensive  reef,  through 
which  there  is  only  a  boat-entrance  on  the  north  shore.  Karoni,  which 
is  of  small  size,  lies  within  the  same  reef,  towards  its  southern  end. 
Motha  forms  the  southern  side  of  what  I  have  called  the  Oneata  Chan- 
nel ;  it  is  a  good  landmark  to  run  for  in  making  the  group,  being  high 
and   surrounded  with   sloping  sides.     Its   soil  is  rich.     Its  population 


consists  of  a  few  natives.  There  are  three  detached  reefs  to  the  east- 
ward, and  within  a  few  miles  of  it. 

Oneata  lies  north  of  Motha,  and  forms  the  northern  side  of  the 
Oneata  Channel.  It  is  of  good  height,  and  may  readily  be  known  by 
Observatory  Isle  to  the  northeast,  two  hundred  and  fifty  feet  in  height, 
with  three  lofty  trees  on  its  apex.  The  reef  around  Oneata  is  also 
extensive ;  it  has  two  good  entrances  on  the  northeast  side,  and  three 
on  the  west. 

Not  being  able  to  pass  through  the  reef  of  Oneata,  Lieutenant-Com- 
mandant Ringgold  bore  away  to  the  northwest  for  Lakemba,  which  is 
twelve  miles  distant.  At  nine  o'clock  on  the  15th  the  Porpoise  was 
off  its  south  side,  and  as  the  boats  were  preparing  to  land,  a  canoe  was 
seen  leaving  the  beach,  having  on  board  the  missionary,  the  Reverend 
Mr.  Calvert,  belonging  to  the  Wesleyan  Society.  He  had  been  on  the 
island  more  than  a  year,  and  succeeded  the  Rev.  Messrs.  Cargill, 
Cross,  and  Jagger,  who  had  removed  to  the  larger  and  more  important 
islands  of  the  group.  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  and  some  of 
the  officers  returned  with  him  to  the  island,  where  they  were  kindly 
entertained  by  him  and  his  lady.  Mr.  Calvert  did  not  express  himself 
favourably  regarding  the  natives,  describing  them  as  cruel  and  blood- 
thirsty, and  said  it  was  the  prevailing  custom  to  destroy  all  shipwrecked 
persons.     Cannibalism,  however,  is  now  extinct  on  this  island. 

The  king  of  Lakemba,  Tui  Neau,  was  found  seated  in  a  large 
canoe-house,  near  the  landing,  with  a  numerous  retinue  of  almost  naked 
natives  about  him.  He  is  a  corpulent  nasty-looking  fellow,  and  has 
the  unmitigated  habits  of  a  savage.  He  is  said  to  have  one  hundred 
wives !  He  exercises  despotic  power  over  all  the  surrounding  islands, 
has  the  character  of  being  a  cruel  tyrant,  and  lives  in  the  midst  of  all 
kinds  of  excesses.  The  settlement  is  dirty  and  badly  built,  but  has 
some  large  houses.  In  it  were  seen  numbers  of  ugly  women  and 
children.  Salomon,  the  Tonga  chief,  left  the  brig  at  Lakemba;  he 
had  been  of  but  little  use  as  a  pilot  in  consequence  of  being  sea-sick 
nearly  the  -whole  time,  which  was  somewhat  singular  for  a  person 
who  was  almost  constantly  engaged  in  navigating  canoes.  In  his 
stead  they  procured  a  person  whose  name  was  Thaki.  Thaki  was  a 
very  respectable  old  man,  and  had  many  letters  of  recommendation, 
giving  him  the  highest  character.  Among  them  was  a  letter  from 
some  shipwrecked  sailors,  who  by  his  exertions  were  saved  from  death, 
and  afterwards  supplied  by  him  with  every  thing  that  was  necessary, 
until  they  got  on  board  an  English  vessel.  Chevalier  Dillon,  also,  had 
given  him  a  printed  document.  All  of  these  papers  Thaki  takes  great 
pride  in  showing,  and  carries  them  constantly  with  him.    He  had  been 

VOL.  III.  p  22 

170  LAKE  MBA    AND    SAVU-SAVU. 

at  Sydney,  and  had  evidently  profited  much  by  his  trip.  He  was 
acquainted  with  the  characters  of  Napoleon  and  Washington,  and 
when  prints  of  them  were  shown  him,  he  expressed  a  desire  to  have 
them,  which  was  complied  with.  On  seeing  a  likeness  of  the  Duke  of 
Reichstadt,  he  asked  if  he  had  not  been  poisoned.  The  print  of  General 
Jackson  was  highly  prized  by  him. 

Mr.  Calvert  was  landed  in  the  evening,  and  the  next  morning,  the 
16th,  the  brig  resumed  the  surveying  duties,  the  islands  of  Komo, 
Ularua,and  the  Aivas,  (both  the  high  and  low,)  Oneata,  and  Motha,  all 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Lakemba,  were    observed  on  and  explored. 

At  night  thei'e  was  a  violent  squall,  accompanied  with  lightning  and 
rain.  Among  these  islands  and  numerous  reefs,  such  squalls  become 
very  dangerous,  but  fortunately  they  are  not  of  long  duration. 

The  two  Aivas  are  both  uninhabited  ;  they  lie  between  Lakemba 
and  Oneata,  and  are  surrounded  by  an  extensive  reef,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  a  large  opening  in  the  northeast  side,  which  afFoi'ds  anchorage, 
exposed,  however,  to  the  northeast  winds. 

On  the  17th  they  were  engaged  in  exploring  the  great  Argo  Reef. 
Its  native  name  is  Bocatatanoa,  and  it  is  one  of  the  most  extensive  and 
dangerous  in  the  group.  Its  English  name  is  derived  from  the  loss  (on 
its  southeast  end)  of  the  English  brig  Argo,  which  happened  in  the 
year  1806. 

The  outlying  reefs  off  Angasa  and  Motha,  were  also  examined  and 
surveyed.  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  then  proceeded  towards 
Oneata.  Here  they  found  excellent  anchorage,  under  Observatory 
Isle,  near  a  settlement  on  the  northeast  side  of  the  island.  A  second 
anchorage  is  to  be  found  off  the  west  side  of  the  island,  near  a  large 
sandy  bay.  No  water  is  to  be  had  here,  except  from  wells,  but  there 
is  abundance  of  fruit,  vegetables,  and  poultry.  The  population  is  two 
hundred.  Two  Tahitian  missionaries  were  found  here,  and  about  one 
half  of  the  people  are  Christians. 

The  natives  showed  themselves  sharp  traders.  They  seldom  adhere 
to  the  value  they  have  set  upon  an  article,  after  their  first  demand  is 
agreed  to,  but  ask  a  more  exorbitant  price,  and  show  an  indisposition 
to  comply  with  their  engagements.  It  was  amusing  to  witness  the 
trade  between  them  and  the  sailors.  They  generally  took  a  fancy  to 
some  one  thing,  and  nothing  would  suit  them  but  it.  Bottles  were 
found  here  to  be  the  articles  in  most  request,  and  a  porter-bottle  would 
purchase  two  baskets  of  yams  or  sweet-potatoes,  and  be  received  in 
preference  to  knives  or  cloth. 

The  village  is  situated  on  the  south  side  of  the  island,  in  a  grove  of 
cocoa-nut  trees,  but  from  the  clouds  of  musquitoes,  was  not  the  most 

L  AKEMBA    AND    SAVU-SAVU.  171 

inviting  place.  Their  plantations  seemed  lo  be  well  taken  care  of, 
and  large  patches  of  taro,  yams,  potatoes,  some  corn  (maize),  and 
young  plantains,  were  in  fine  condition.  The  soil  is  made  up  of  de- 
composed lava.  Large  quantities  of  scoriaceous  matter  were  scat- 
tered over  the  island,  and  some  pumice-stone  was  seen  floating  about. 

There  was  a  small  church,  plastered  and  whitewashed,  with  its 
buryjng-ground  attached.  Old  Thaki  here  pointed  out  the  graves  of 
two  of  his  children,  side  by  side.  At  the  foot  of  the  graves  he  had 
planted  a  fragrant  shrub,  which  he  said  he  had  brought  from  Lakemba 
for  the  purpose,  as  the  plant  did  not  grow  at  Oneata.  Much  pains  had 
been  taken  with  many  of  the  graves,  and  a  few  of  them  were  neatly 
laid  out. 

The  Tahitian  missionaries  prepossessed  all  in  their  favour  by  their 
quiet  and  orderly  behaviour.  They  have  many  recommendations 
from  the  former  visiters  to  the  island.  They  have  been  on  Oneata 
upwards  of  twenty  years,  having  been  placed  there,  as  they  said,  by 
Mr.  Williams,  who  was  the  pioneer  for  so  many  years  in  the  mis- 
sionary field,  in  which  service  he  lost  his  valuable  life. 

Observatory  Island  was  made  one  of  the  magnetic  stations,  and 
Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  also  obtained  there  a  full  set  of 
observations  for  latitude  and  azimuth,  sights  for  chronometers,  and  a 
round  of  angles  on  all  the  islands  and  reefs  in  sight.  The  weather 
being  unfavourable,  they  did  not  succeed  in  finishing  the  survey  of 
Oneata  and  its  reefs  until  the  23d.  Tiana,  the  pilot  whom  they  took 
on  board  at  Fulanga,  was  here  parted  with.  He  had  proved  very 
serviceable,  and  possessed  much  knowledge  of  this  part  of  the  group. 
Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  gave  him  his  discharge  with  many 
presents,  and  a  certificate  of  his  good  conduct  and  abilities  as  a  pilot. 

The  officers  frequently  visited  the  shore.  The  natives  seemed  to 
vie  with  each  other  as  to  who  should  appear  most  in  the  European 
garb.  The  native  missionaries,  and  some  others,  wore  ruffled  shirts 
marked  P.  Dillon.  These,  with  a  straw  hat,  constituted  their  only 
clothing,  except  the  maro.' 

Quantities  of  vegetables  were  brought  for  trade,  which  gave  an 
opportunity  of  procuring  a  supply  for  the  crew  that  was  much  needed. 
The  few  days  they  spent  here  were  the  only  ones  since  the  preceding 
November,  that  they  had  had  any  respite  from  duty,  having,  with  the 
rest  of  the  squadron,  been  kept  in  a  constant  state  of  activity,  and, 
much  of  the  time,  on  very  arduous  and  fatiguing  service. 

The  southern  side  of  Oneata  is  a  mass  of  lava,  somewhat  resem- 
bling the  clinkers  of  the  Sandwich  Islands,  to  be  spoken  of  hereafter. 
This   rock  is  comparatively  recent,  having  undergone  but  a  slight 


decomposition.  Deep  chasms  were  occasionally  met  with.  The 
whole  is  partially  covered  with  vines  and  creepers,  and  the  shore  was 
lined  with  mangroves. 

The  men  enjoyed  the  opportunity  of  a  walk  on  shore,  and  also  the 
chance  of  bathing.  Old  Thaki,  with  many  expressions  of  regret, 
brought  off  a  hatchet  and  gimlet  that  had  been  stolen  the  day  before, 
and  had  not  yet  been  missed.  These  islanders  are  particularly 
anxious  to  obtain  iron  tools,  and  seem  to  prefer  the  axes  of  ^.merican 
manufacture  to  those  of  England,  considering  the  former  more  ser- 

On  the  22d,  they  sailed,  and  continued  the  surveys  to  the  eastward, 
towards  the  Bocatatanoa,  or  Argo  Reef.  Besides  the  brig  Argo, 
another  vessel,  by  the  name  of  the  Harriet,  is  said  to  have  been  lost 
here.  According  to  Thaki's  report,  all  hands  from  one  of  these  vessels 
were  killed,  while  only  a  few  from  the  other  escaped.  He  remembers 
the  occurrence,  but  it  was  a  long  time  ago.  This  extensive  reef  was 
examined,  when  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold,  having  heard  of 
the  arrival  of  the  Flying-Fish,  with  a  pilot  and  despatches,  returned  to 

Here  they  took  on  board  Tubou  Total  and  Corodowdow,  with  their 
suites,  whom  I  have  mentioned  before,  as  having  been  left  by  the 
Flying-Fish,  the  former  to  act  as  pilot.  , 

It  is  remarkable  that,  up  to  this  time,  in  all  their  trials  of  the  cur- 
rent, they  had  found  it  setting  to  the  eastward  about  half  a  mile  per 
hour,  varying  in  direction  from  east-northeast  to  east-southeast.  This 
fact  is  confirmed  by  the  information  obtained  from  the  natives,  that 
canoes  which  are  wrecked  to  the  westward  are  always  drifted  upon 
these  islands. 

On  the  28th,  Mr.  Totten  and  Dr.  Holmes  were  despatched  on  shore, 
to  ascend  Kendi-kendi,  the  highest  peak  of  the  island  of  Lakemba,  for 
the  purpose  of  making  observations  and  getting  its  height  by  sympieso- 
meter.  The  altitude  was  thus  found  to  be  seven  hundred  and  fourteen 
feet.  The  ascent  was  not  difficult,  for  a  regular  path  led  to  the  highest 
point.  The  ruins  of  a  town  were  found  on  it,  called  Tumboa,  from 
which  the  Tonga  chiefs  of  the  family  of  Tubou  Total  are  supposed  to 
have  derived  their  name,  as  has  been  before  mentioned.  This  town 
was  occupied  for  the  purpose  of  defence  against  their  enemies,  both 
Tongese  and  Feejees. 

Mr.  Calvert  and  his  lady  received  them  most  kindly  at  the  mission, 
as  they  had  already  done  the  other  officers.  The  house  and  out-build- 
ings are  comfortable,  and  the  church,  which  stands  near  the  mission- 
house,  is  a  good  building,  eighty  feet  long  by  thirty-two  wide,  and 


twenty-five  feet  high.  The  latter  is  convenient  and  appropriate  to  its 
purpose,  and  its  floor  is  covered  with  mats.  At  4  p.  m.  the  hollow  log 
drum  was  beaten  for  prayers,  which  the  officers  attended  with  Mr. 
Calvert.  There  were  only  fifteen  persons  present.  A  Tonga  man 
officiated,  as  Mr.  Calvert  was  fatigued  with  his  morning  jaunt ;  and 
the  services  consisted  of  singing  and  prayer.  There  are  about  fifty 
resident  Christians,  nearly  all  of  whom  are  Tongese,  of  whom  about 
one-third  of  the  population  is  composed ;  and  they  have  literally  taken 
possession  of  the  island,  for  they  never  work,  but  subsist  on  the  labour 
of  the  Feejee  population,  who  hold  them  in  much  awe.  The  difference 
between  the  two  races  was  as  striking  here  as  at  Ovolau.  Heathenism 
is  fast  passing  away  at  Lakemba,  and  its  absurd  rites  are  held  in  ridi- 
cule by  most  of  those  who  are  still  considered  as  heathens.  The  in- 
fluence of  the  priest  is  diminished,  and  the  temple  or  mbure  has  fallen 
into  decay. 

Lakemba  is  the  largest  island  in  the  eastern  group.  It  is  five  miles 
in  diameter ;  its  shape  is  nearly  round,  with  an  extensive  encircling 
reef  There  is  an  opening,  on  its  eastern  side,  sufficient  for  large 
vessels,  but  dangerous,  from  the  number  of  coral  patches  which  stud 
it.  The  town  is  on  the  south  side,  and  contains  about  two-thirds  of 
the  population  of  the  island,  (one  thousand  people.) 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold,  with  his  officers,  again  visited 
the  king,  Tui  Neau,  at  his  house,  which  is  really  very  little  better  than 
a  large  pig-pen :  it  is  about  one  hundred  feet  long  by  thirty  wide,  and 
has  in  it,  after  the  example  of  the  king  of  Rewa,  two  old  rusty  nine- 
pounders,  mounted  on  damaged  carriages.  There  were  a  great  num- 
ber of  women  about  the  king,  and  some  chiefs.  He  appeared  to  be 
too  fat  to  be  able  to  exert  himself.  He  is  about  the  middle  size  as  to 
height,  slovenly  in  his  person  and  habits,  with  a  dull-looking  counte- 
nance, childish  in  his  behaviour,  and  has  been  found  to  be  mean  and 
niggardly  in  his  disposition.  In  proof  of  this  character,  a  few  circum- 
stances will  be  given,  which  I  have  from  the  missionaries,  and  which 
happened  while  they  resided  there. 

On  the  occasion  of  some  thefts  having  been  committed  on  the  mis- 
sionaries at  Lakemba,  they  made  complaint  in  a  formal  manner  to  the 
king.  They  were  shortly  afterwards  surprised  by  a  visit  from  a  mes- 
senger, with  many  apologies,  and  the  presentation  of  five  small  sticks, 
on  which  were  stuck  five  little  fingers  that  had  been  cut  off  from  those 
•who  had  committed  the  thefts,  as  a  propitiation  for  their  losses ! 

A  poor  man  happening  to  offend  a  high  chief  by  the  name  of  Togi, 
one  of  the  brothers  of  Tui  Neau,  king  of  Lakemba,  the  chief  in  re- 
venge, took  his  wife  from  him ;  but  the  woman  was  so  unhappy,  that 


she  told  the  chief  that  she  would  rather  die  than  live  to  be  his  slave. 
He  said  she  should  have  her  desire,  she  should  die ;  but  she  must  wait 
a  little  while,  as  he  had  some  great  work  doing,  and,  when  it  was 
finished,  she  should  be  cooked  at  the  feast,  and  then  eaten.  She  was 
accordingly  kept  and  fed  for  that  purpose,  and  when  the  time  came,  a 
man  was  sent  to  kill  her.  He,  however,  was  afraid,  and,  while  he 
was  contending  with  his  fears,  she  effected  her  escape.  The  chief, 
contrary  to  the  usual  custom,  spared  the  man's  life. 

Some  instances  of  persons  preserved  from  being  buried  alive  have 
occurred ;  but  they  are  few.  The  fear  of  disgrace,  and  the  miseries 
that  are  entailed  upon  the  old  and  helpless  by  their  friends  and  rela- 
tives, induces  many  to  undergo  willingly  this  death.  Nothing  strikes 
one  more,  among  a  crowd  of  natives,  than  the  absence  of  the  aged. 

An  anecdote  of  one  of  these  escapes  was  told  me  by  a  missionary. 
A  Tonga  man  had  made  it  a  constant  practice  to  beat  his  wife,  and, 
to  use  his  own  words,  he  had  "  knocked  almost  all  the  teeth  out  of 
her  head,  for  her  disobedience."  The  poor  woman,  after  one  of  these 
beatings,  was  taken  ill,  and  her  Feejee  friends  wished  to  express  their 
love  by  taking  her  to  her  own  town  to  bury  her.  They  took  her  to 
the  grave  and  put  her  into  it,  but  she  now  refused  to  be  buried  alive, 
and  effected  her  escape.  Her  husband  knowing  v^here  she  was  gone, 
and  having  some  affection  for  her  notwithstanding  his  ill  treatment, 
went  to  see  her.  On  his  way  he  met,  a  person  from  the  town,  who  told 
him  that  she  was  dead  and  buried ;  but  on  his  arrival  at  the  place,  he 
found  that  she  had  extricated  herself  from  her  murderous  relatives,  and 
both  husband  and  wife  were  much  relieved  and  rejoiced  at  the  meeting. 
In  order  to  free  themselves  from  such  customs  they  both  at  once 
embraced  Christianity,  which  is  considered  as  absolving  them  from 
this  horrid  obligation. 

Tui  Neau's  authority  extends  over  the  eastern  group,  but  he  is 
subject  to  Tanoa,  and  at  present  pays  his  tribute  to  the  king  of  Somu- 
somu,  in  consequence  of  an  agreement  with  Tanoa.  It  is  thought, 
however,  that  on  Tanoa's  death,  Seru,  his  son,  will  insist  upon 
receiving  the  tribute  again,  as  he  is  known  to  be  very  unfriendly  to 
the  king  of  Somu-somu,  and  is  now  desirous  of  making  war  upon  him. 

Tui  Neau  was  presented  with  various  articles,  and  was  told  the 
object  of  the  visit,  and  the  friendly  disposition  we  had  towards  him. 
This  communication  he  only  noticed  by  a  low  grunt.  He  is  disposed 
to  be  friendly  towards  the  missionaries,  and  says  he  will  turn  Christian 
when  Tanoa  dies.  It  was  observed  that  the  same  savage  homage  was 
paid  him  that  I  have  before  spoken  of  in  the  other  islands,  similar 
expressions  being  used  by  both  men  and  women. 


Two  of  the  officers  of  the  Porpoise  remained  on  shore  all  night,  and 
had  an  opportunity  of  seeing  a  native  dance,  in  which  about  one 
hundred  and  fifty  men  and  women  were  engaged.  The  men  and 
women  did  not  dance  together.  Tlieir  motions  were  thought  to  be 
stiff  and  inelegant.  They  kept  time  to  a  monotonous  chaunt,  in  which 
they  all  occasionally  joined. 

The  whole  had  a  wild  and  singular  effect,  as  seen  by  the  flickering 
light  of  the  cocoanut-leaf  torches.  Many  of  their  movements  were 
highly  indecent,  and  these  were  much  applauded  by  the  natives. 

The  people  of  this  island  seemed  to  be  far  from  healthy ;  pulmonary 
diseases  were  common,  and  often  fatal,  and  an  unsightly  scrofulous 
affection  appeared  to  be  quite  prevalent. 

The  survey  of  Lakemba  gave  its  length  five  miles  east  and  west, 
by  three  north  and  south.  The  reef  extends  six  miles  from  the  island, 
in  an  east-northeast  direction ;  in  it  there  are  two  openings,  one  on 
the  southeast  side,  and  one  opposite  to  the  town  on  the  south  or  south- 
west side.  Into  the  latter  a  vessel  of  one  or  two  hundred  tons  may 
enter ;  but  after  getting  in,  the  space  is  very  confined,  and  it  would  be 
necessary  to  moor  head  and  stern. 

This  island  is  the  principal  location  of  the  people  I  have  heretofore 
described,  under  the  name  of  Levukians,  as  the  first  settlers  of  Ambau. 
They  live  in  a  village  which  is  denominated  Levuka,  and  have  the 
character,  at  Lakemba,  of  being  a  wandering,  faithless  tribe,  addicted, 
occasionally,  to  piracy.  This  is  not  considered  the  case  elsewhere, 
for  the  Feejee  men,  in  general,  look  upon  them  as  a  useful  class,  and 
through  them  they  carry  on  the  trade  between  the  different  islands. 
It  is  not  surprising  that  they  should  bear  a  bad  name  among  the  Tonga 
men,  for  I  heard  that  they  were  the  means  of  checking  the  depredations 
of  those  of  that  race  who  now  hold  possession  of  the  island  of  La- 
kemba, and  exert  a  great  influence  on  the  southeast  islands  of  this 
group,  which  they  find  essential  for  their  purposes  of  obtaining  war- 

Lakemba  was  found,  like  the  rest  of  this  group,  to  be  of  volcanic 
formation.  The  soil  is  similar  to  that  of  Yanua,  composed  of  a  dark 
red  loam.  The  island,  in  point  of  fertility,  will  compare  with  any  of 
the  others,  and  exceeds  all  those  of  the  southeast  in  size  and  produc- 
tiveness. It  has  rich  valleys,  or  rather  ravines,  gradually  rising  and 
contracting  until  they  reach  the  hills.  Extensive  groves  of  cocoa-nuts 
cover  its  shores  and  low  lands,  and  add  much  to  its  beauty. 

The  Porpoise,  having  taken  Tubou  Total  on  board,  proceeded  to 
the  island  of  Naiau.  This  is  a  high  island,  and  rises  in  perpendicular 
cliffs  from  the  sea  to  the  height  of  two  hundred  and  seventy-five  feet. 



It  has  only  a  small  reef  attached  to  it  on  one  side,  the  other  side  being 
free.  It  offers  no  facilities  for  the  visit  of  vessels.  Naiau  contains 
a  population  of  two  hundred  inhabitants,  who  are  perched  upon  inac- 
cessible peaks,  in  order  to  protect  themselves  from  depredations. 

Tabutha  is  thirty  miles  north  of  Lakemba.  It  has  a  remarkable 
peak,  which  rises  on  its  northwest  end,  and  is  the  Cap  Island  of  the 
charts.  A  reef  surrounds  it,  in  which  there  are  two  boat-entrances  on 
the  southwest  and  northwest  sides.  There  are  on  it  about  ninety 
inhabitants  :  it  has  no  water  except  from  wells.  Tubou  Total  says 
that  this  island  belongs  to  him,  he  having  received  it  as  a  present  from 
the  king  of  Lakemba.  There  are  two  small  reefs,  called  Mamouko, 
to  the  southwest  of  it,  which  can  be  closely  approached,  and  have  a 
passage  between  them.  They  are  three  miles  from  the  island,  south- 
southwest  (true). 

To  the  eastward  of  Tabutha  lies  the  small  island  of  Aro.  This  is  a 
very  pretty  island,  and  has  three  reefs  in  its  neighbourhood, — one  lying 
northeast  seven  miles  ;  another,  east  half  south  two  and  a  half  miles  ; 
the  third,  south  half  east  two  and  a  half  miles.  This  small  island  is 
only  inhabited  during  the  turtle  season,  which  begins  in  October  and 
ends  in  February. 

Chichia  lies  twenty  miles  to  the  northwest  of  Naiau.  It  is  nearly 
circular,  is  three  miles  in  diameter,  and  a  shore-reef  extends  around 
it,  with  no  opening  but  for  canoes.  Some  of  its  points  are  three 
hundred  feet  high.  It  is  in  places  thickly  wooded,  and  has  about 
three  hundred  inhabitants.  There  is  a  small  reef  to  the  southwest, 
with  a  passage  between  it  and  the  island.  The  soil  is  rich,  and 
every  thing  is  produced  in  abundance.  Extensive  cocoa-nut  groves 
clothe  its  low  points. 

Mango  is  another  small  island,  eighteen  miles  to  the  north-north- 
east of  Chichia.  It  is  remarkable  for  an  open  space  near  its  centre, 
•which  appears  as  if  it  had  been  artificially  cleared.  It  is  surrounded 
by  a  reef,  which  has  a  break  on  the  northwest  side,  but  affords  no 
protection  for  vessels.  The  southern  part  of  the  reef  extends  off  about 
a  mile,  and  has  two  small  islets  in  it.  It  affords  no  shelter,  and  there 
is  no  water  except  from  wells.  Its  shape  is  an  oval,  whose  longest 
diameter  is  three  miles,  and  its  shortest  two.  There  is  a  distinct  reef, 
which  lies  northwest-by-north,  four  miles  from  it. 

Vekai,  Katafanga,  and  the  reef  of  Malevuvu,  all  three  lying  north 
of  Tabutha,  were  next  examined. 

Vekai  is  six  miles  from  Tabutha.  It  is  a  low  islet,  with  an  exten- 
sive reef  lying  on  its  northwest  side,  and  is  resorted  to  during  the  turtle 


Katafanga  is  also  a  small  isle,  inhabited  only  during  the  turtle  season. 
Its  reef  is  much  more  extensive,  being  four  and  a  half  miles  from  east 
to  west,  and  has  a  small  opening,  which  would  admit  a  vessel  drawing 
ten  feet  of  water,  were  it  not  impeded  by  some  dangerous  coral  knolls. 
There  are  huts  on  its  northeast  point,  and  abundance  of  sugar-cane, 
fruit,  and  vegetables,  may  be  procured.  Both  the  last  named  islands 
are  volcanic,  and  specimens  of  lava  were  obtained  from  them.  The 
latter  island  is  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  in  height. 

The  reef  of  Malevuvu  is  two  and  a  half  miles  long,  and  is  awash, 
with  the  sea  breaking  over  it.  It  is  seven  miles  north-by-east  from 
Katafanga.  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  having  understood 
from  Tubou  that  the  reef  around  Munia  enclosed,  besides  that  island, 
six  others,  and  that  there  was  a  wide  and  safe  passage  through  the 
reef,  determined,  on  coming  up  with  it,  to  enter,  which  he  did  on  its 
southeast  side.  The  islands,  seven  in  number,  were  all  of  considerable 
size :  Vanua-valavo,  the  largest  of  them,  proved  to  be  of  a  serpentine 
shape,  and  fourteen  miles  in  length ;  each  island  had  its  separate  reef 
around  its  shore,  and  the  whole  were  enclosed  by  a  very  extensive  reef, 
somewhat  of  the  shape  of  a  triangle,  whose  sides  are  twenty-four  miles 
in  length.  The  large  island  is  in  no  place  more  than  two  miles  wide  ; 
it  is  situated  along  the  western  side  of  the  triangle,  and  contains  many 
fine  bays  and  safe  anchorages.  The  other  islands  are  called  Munia 
Susui,  Malatta,  Ticumbia,  and  Osubu.  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ring 
gold  gave  to  the  cluster  the  name  of  the  Exploring  Isles. 

Boats  were  dropped  to  survey  the  entrance,  whilst  the  brig  proceeded 
to  her  first  anchorage  under  Munia,  to  which  the  name  of  Discovery 
Harbour  was  given.  This  anchorage  was  a  good  one,  in  eight  and  a 
half  fathoms  water,  with  fine  sandy  bottom.  In  the  afternoon  they 
landed,  and,  as  they  approached,  they  saw  a  number  of  natives  holding 
up  a  white  flag,  most  of  whom  soon  disappeared,  leaving  only  three  or 
four  in  sight.  The  rest,  as  Tubou  said,  had  concealed  themselves 
behind  the  rocks  for  the  purpose  of  attacking  the  boats.  Corodowdow 
hailed  them,  on  w^hich  they  all  appeared,  and  confirmed  the  probability 
of  Tubou's  surmise,  by  being  armed  with  spears,  clubs,  bows,  and 
arrows.  They,  however,  at  once  showed  the  utmost  respect  for  the 
Ambau  chief,  crouching  and  stopping  when  he  walked  past  them,  and 
walking  half  bent  when  in  his  presence. 

The  koro,  or  village,  was  situated  some  distance  from  the  beach, 
upon  hills,  which  were  covered  with  bread-fruit,  cocoa-nut,  and 
banana  trees.  At  the  koro  only  two  or  three  persons  were  found, 
and  these  appeared  to  be  much  terrified  ;  all  the  rest,  men,  women, 
and  children,  had  fled  to  the  hills  and  bushes.  This  fear  proved  to  be 
VOL.  III.  •  23 

178  LAKE  MBA    AND    SAVU-SAVU. 

occasioned  by  the  presence  of  Tubou  Total,  who  acknowledged  that 
some  years  ago  he  had  landed  on  this  island  and  killed  sixty  of  the 
inhabitants,  in  consequence  of  their  having  destroyed  a  Tonga  canoe, 
with  all  on  board. 

Tubou,  in  order  to  remove  their  apprehensions,  made  them  a  speech, 
assuring  them  of  his  friendly  disposition.  As  is  usual  among  the  other 
islands  of  the  group,  they  applauded  at  every  sentence,  by  clapping 
hands,  in  which  Tubou  himself  joined.  Confidence  was  quickly 
restored,  the  natives  flocking  around,  exhibiting  the  greatest  curiosity, 
examining  the  clothing,  skins,  and  arms,  of  our  people,  and  constantly 
uttering  guttural  sounds. 

The  chief  of  this  island  (Munia)  had  but  one  eye.  He  appeared 
somewhat  under  the  influence  of  fear,  but  made  some  presents  of 
bananas  and  cocoa-nuts,  and  complained  much  of  his  poverty.  They 
returned  on  board  at  sunset. 

The  next  day  the  boats  were  prepared  for  surveying.  The  launch 
and  another  boat,  under  Lieutenants  Johnson  and  Maury,  were  sent 
to  circumnavigate  the  large  island.  Parties  were  also  despatched  to 
get  wood  and  water.  Mr.  Totten  and  Dr.  Holmes  ascended  the 
highest  peak  of  Munia,  called  Telanicolo,  the  measurement  of  which, 
by  sympiesometer,  gave  one  thousand  and  fifty-four  feet  above  the 
level  of  the  sea.  This  peak  is  composed  of  volcanic  masses,  with 
high,  craggy,  and  overhanging  cliffs.  The  ascent  proved  difficult,  for 
the  path  passed  over  steep  hills  and  along  the  edges  of  the  rocks,  and  it 
was  in  places  so  narrow  that  only  one  person  could  pass  at  a  time.  A 
few  men  might  defend  the  ascent  against  an  army.  Upon  the  summit 
they  found  the  ruins  of  a  small  village ;  some  of  the  huts  were,  how- 
ever, kept  in  repair,  as  refuge  in  times  of  danger.  The  view  from  the 
top  they  describe  as  beautiful,  many  of  the  other  islands  being  in  sight. 
The  natives  who  accompanied  them,  to  carry  the  instruments,  &c., 
behaved  well,  and  were  amply  rewarded.  All  the  natives  yet  seen  by 
the  Porpoise  were  exceedingly  fond  of  tobacco,  a  very  small  piece  of 
which  is  an  ample  reward  for  a  long  service.  Some  thefts  were  com- 
mitted from  the  boats  by  the  natives  who  assisted  in  bringing  the  water, 
but  on  speaking  to  the  chief  they  were  quickly  returned.  He  at  the 
same  time  pointed  out  the  thieves,  and  requested  they  might  be  killed. 

The  island  of  Munia  contains  about  eighty  inhabitants,  and  the 
settlement  is  on  the  western  side,  where  water  may  be  obtained  in 
small  quantities. 

Ticumbia  lies  five  miles  to  the  northeast  of  Munia.  It  bears  a  close 
resemblance  to  Munia,  but  is  much  smaller;  the  inhabitants  are  about 
seventy  in  number.     This  island  affords  but  little  water. 


Susui  lies  next  to  Vanua-valavo,  and  between  it  and  Munia.  It  is 
divided  into  three  parts,  of  which  the  easternmost  is  low,  and  covered 
M'ith  thick  shrubbery  and  groves  of  cocoa-nuts ;  the  western  portion 
rises  in  broken  basaltic  peaks,  several  hundred  feet  high,  and  is  thickly- 
wooded.  On  this  island  are  several  villages,  and  the  number  of 
inhabitants  is  one  hundred  and  fifty.  The  ground  is  much  better 
cultivated  than  is  usual,  the  patches  of  taro  and  yams  being  kept 
remarkably  neat.  Good  water  may  be  obtained  on  the  northwest  side, 
running  from  the  cliff.  On  the  northwest  side,  Lieutenant-Comman- 
dant Ringgold  discovered  a  beautiful  harbour,  secure  from  all  winds, 
whence  an  extensive  valley  runs  back,  thickly  covered  with  bananas, 
cocoa-nuts,  &c.,  with  a  small  stream  running  through  it.  They  landed 
on  the  smooth  sandy  beach,  accompanied  by  Tubou  and  Corodowdow, 
and  took  the  road  to  the  village,  under  the  guidance  of  several  of  the 
natives.  The  soil  of  the  plain  consisted  of  a  rich  loam.  After  ascend- 
ing some  distance,  they  reached  a  settlement  surrounded  by  large 
banana  and  other  fruit  trees.  Passing  on  further,  they  arrived  at  a 
second  plantation,  pitched  on  an  eminence,  where  they  found  the 
women  all  at  work  making  native  cloth.  Quantities  of  fossil  shells 
were  lying  about  in  every  direction,  and  were  seen  exposed  in  the 
strata  on  the  hill-sides.     Sugar-cane  was  growing  in  great  perfection. 

The  southern  side  of  the  island  is  in  close  proximity  to  the  reef  that 
surrounds  the  cluster. 

Malatta  is  the  next  island.  It  lies  near  Susui,  and  is  of  snfialler 
size  than  it.  It  is  divided  from  Vanua-valavo  by  a  narrow  passage. 
The  southern  part  of  the  latter  island  is  called  Lomo-lomo ;  its  northern 
is  called  A  via;  it  has  a  good  harbour  on  its  east  side,  opposite  Susui, 
protected  by  a  small  islet.  On  the  west  side  of  the  island  are  two 
openings  in  the  reef,  a  spacious  harbour,  and  large  stream  of  water. 

There  is  a  large  village  at  the  head  of  the  bay.  The  population  of 
Vanua-valavo  is  five  hundred. 

Avia  is  a  small  island  to  the  northeast  of  Vanua-valavo.  It  has  a 
few  natives  residing  upon  it. 

On  the  southern  side  of  the  great  reef,  are  two  small  uninhabited 

These  Exploring  Islands  are  w&ll  situated  for  the  resort  of  vessels. 
The  anchorages  are  very  safe  and  easily  reached.  They  aflTord  an 
abundance  of  fruit  and  vegetables.  There  are  five  openings  in  the  large 
reef,  two  at  the  east  end,  two  on  the  west,  and  one  on  the  north  side ; 
all  safe.  Vessels  wishing  to  anchor  on  the  western  side  must  enter 
one  of  the  western  passages,  as  the  near  approach  of  Vanua-valavo  to 
the  large  reef  does  not  admit  of  a  passage  for  vessels  between  them. 


On  the  8th,  the  Porpoise  sailed  from  the  Exploring  Isles,  and  con- 
tinued the  surveys  of  Okimbo  and  Naitamba,  with  the  surrounding 
reefs,  both  attached  and  separate.  The  former  is  made  up  of  three 
small  isles,  enclosed  in  the  same  reef,  four  miles  east  and  west,  by  three 
miles  north  and  south,  which  are  seven  miles  to  the  north  of  the  north- 
west point  of  Vanua-valavo.  The  detached  reefs  are  from  one  to  four 
miles  in  length ;  they  are  awash  and  dangerous.  Okimbo  is  desolate, 
and  affords  nothing  but  turtles  in  the  season,  and  some  biche  de  mar. 

Naitamba  is  high  and  rugged  ;  it  is  of  a  circular  form,  one  mile  and 
a  half  in  diameter.  The  reef  does  not  extend  beyond  half  a  mile  from 
it,  and  has  no  openings.     It  has  few  inhabitants. 

The  time  having  now  arrived  for  our  meeting  at  Somu-somu, 
Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  bore  up  for  that  place,  passing 
through  Tasman's  Straits,  which  lie  between  the  islands  of  Kamia  and 
Vuna.  Both  of  these  have  many  reefs  projecting  from  their  shores. 
This  passage  should  not  be  attempted  except  in  favourable  weather, 
and  the  best  time  is  during  the  morning  hours,  when  the  sun  is  to  the 
eastward  of  the  meridian.  The  currents  are  strong,  and  calms  are 
very  frequent  under  the  highlands  of  Kamia  and  Lauthala.  In  passing 
through  these  straits,  although  they  had  a  careful  look-out  at  the  mast- 
head, they  were  close  to  a  coral  knoll  before  it  was  seen,  and  passed 
within  a  few  feet  of  it.  It  had  no  more  than  eight  feet  of  water  on  it. 
At  noon  they  rounded  the  north  point  of  Vuna,  entering  the  Straits  of 
Somu-somu,  and  at  two  o'clock  p.  m.  they  reached  the  anchorage  off 
the  town  of  Somu-somu. 

Having  finished  all  my  business  at  Somu-somu  on  the  10th  of  June, 
at  ten  o'clock  at  night,  I  determined,  notwithstanding  the  lateness  of 
the  hour,  to  get  under  way  with  the  tender,  in  order  that  I  might  take 
up  the  survey  of  the  south  side  of  Vanua-levu,  beginning  at  Tokanova 
Point,  early  the  next  morning.  We  accordingly  weighed  anchor,  and 
stood  out  of  the  Straits  of  Somu-somu. 

In  rounding  Goat  Is-land  we  did  not  give  it  a  sufficient  berth,  and 
grounded  on  a  sunken  patch  of  coral,  an  accident  which  hurt  the 
feelings  of  Poor  Tom  the  pilot  more  than  it  injured  the  tender.  We 
remained  on  this  shoal  about  an  hour,  and  after  getting  off  we  drifted 
through  the  strait,  and  by  daylight  found  ourselves  in  a  position  to 
begin  the  survey. 

At  an  early  hour,  Lieutenant  Case,  Passed  Midshipman  Harrison, 
and  myself,  took  our  boats  and  entered  the  reef.  Mr.  Sinclair  was  left 
in  the  tender,  with  orders  to  follow  the  reef  close  aboard,  and  direc- 
tions to  enter  Fawn  Harbour ;  but  having  in  our  progress  along  the 
reef  discovered  an  opening,  I  made  signal  for  the   tender  to  enter. 


This  entrance  appears  to  be  unknown,  and  leads  to  a  harbour  which 

I  called  Baino,  after  a  town  that  Tubou  informed  me  was  near  by.     It 

offers  good  anchorage,  being  protected  by  the  coral  reef,  which  extends 

off  some  distance.     After  the  tender  had  fired  guns  for  fixing  our  base 

line,  a  signal  was  made  for  her  to  get  under  way  and  proceed  to  Fawn 

Harbour,  four  miles  to  leeward,  and  anchor  at  sunset.     We  joined  her 

there,  having  brought   up   our   work.     This  has   been   called  Fawn 

Harbour  after  the  neme  of  an  American  brig,  which  was  wrecked  on 

the  reef.    In  attempting  to  beat  out,  she  missed  stays  and  went  ashore. 

Tubou  and  Corodowdow  requested  permission  to  go  on  shore  and 

spend  the  night,  which  I  readily  gave  them,  and  proposed  to  Tubou 

to  accompany  them.     On  consultation,  they  said  they  did  not  think 

it  safe  for  me  to  do  this,  for  the  people  were  wild  and  savage,  and 

"  there  were  no  gentlemen  there."     The  town  is  called  Tuconreva ;  it  is 

situated  in  a  pretty  cocoa-nut  grove,  and  has  a  stream  of  water  near  it. 

In  the  morning  early  we  surveyed  this  small  harbour ;   and  the  two 

chiefs  having  returned  on  board,  we  started  on  our  surveys  of  the 

coast.     From  the  appearance  of  Tubou  and  Corodowdow,  I  thought  I 

could  perceive  the  reason  why  they  did  not  wish  my  company  :  they 

evidently  had  been  carousing.    The  tender  at  the  commencement  gave 

us  our  base  by  sound,  and  we  proceeded  on  our  survey,  leaving  her  to 

get  under  way,  with  orders  to  anchor  at  Savu-savu.     We  continued 

our  work  all  day,  and  passed  only  one  opening  in  the  reef,  which  is 

near  the  small  islet  of  Rativa,  and  offers  little  accommodation  for  any 

class  of  vessels.     It  is  opposite  the  town  of  Nabouni.     Lieutenant  Case 

and  myself  stopped  for  an  hour  or  two  to  obtain  our  latitude,  on  one 

of  the  small  islets,  where  we  found  the  natives  building  a  canoe.   They 

at  first  seemed  uneasy  at  our  presence,  but  soon  became  more  familiar, 

and  finally  were  disposed  to  take  liberties.     I  had  taken  the  precaution 

to  keep  two  of  the  men  under  arms  on  guard,  and  would  not  permit  the 

savages  to  approach  near  the  boats. 

In  the  afternoon  I  observed  for  chronometer  sights  on  the  small 
island  of  Rativa.  Two  miles  beyond  this,  the  reef  joined  the  shore.  Mr. 
Sinclair  having  conjectured  that  I  had  received  erroneous  information 
respecting  the  distance  to  Savu-savu,  returned  to  this  point  to  pick  us 
up  before  dark,  and  finding  an  opening  in  the  reef  sufficient  for  small 
vessels,  we  took  advantage  of  it  to  join  the  tender.  I  at  first  intended 
to  anchor  in  this  little  harbour  for  the  night ;  but  when  I  reflected  how 
necessary  it  was  for  me  to  return  to  Levuka,  I  determined,  after 
getting  on  board,  to  take  advantage  of  the  strong  breeze,  and  push 
direct  for  Ovolau,  and  at  ten  o'clock  the  next  morning  anchored  at 
Levuka,  where  I  found  all  well, 


The  Starling  had  sailed  for  Revva  with  the  rudder-pintles  of  the 
Peacock,  which  Lieutenant  Underwood  had  succeeded  in  getting; 
and  having  heard  that  Captain  Belcher  was  still  at  Rewa,  I  deter- 
mined to  visit  it,  for  the  double  purpose  of  seeing  if  we  could  afford 
him  any  further  facility,  and  getting  observations  for  latitude  and 
meridian  distance,  as  well  as  eftecting  a  comparison  with  my  intensity 

Having  transferred  Lieutenant  Case  to  the  Vincennes,  Assistant- 
Surgeon  Fox  and  Midshipman  Henry  joined  the  tender,  and  at  noon 
we  were  again  under  way  for  Rewa,  where  we  anchored  at  9  p.  m. 
I  had  the  pleasure  of  finding  Captain  Belcher  there.  He  was  on  the 
eve  of  sailing,  having  nearly  completed  the  repairs  of  his  ship,  and 
was  making  his  last  series  of  observations.  We  had  many  agreeable 
topics  to  converse  upon. 

The  Starling  had  sailed  for  Mbenga  a  few  days  before,  whither  the 
Sulphur  was  to  go  to  join  her.  Captain  Belcher  sailed  the  next 
evening;  and  the  following  day  the  tender  was  hauled  in  close  to  the 
beach  of  the  island  of  Nukalau,  in  order  to  protect  the  spot  where  we 
were  observing  throughout  the  day,  and  guard  against  surprise  upon 
us  by  the  chiefs  of  Rewa,  which  place  was  but  a  few  miles  from  us. 
The  Rev.  Mr.  Hunt  went  to  Rewa,  and  I  had  the  pleasure  of  a  visit 
from  the  Rev.  Messrs.  Cargill  and  Jagger,  the  missionaries. 

I  was  not  a  httle  amused  at  Captain  Belcher's  account  of  the  effect 
of  the  regulations  as  operating  upon  his  vessel.  The  chiefs  required 
him  to  pay  port-charges,  and  in  default  thereof  refused  to  give  him 
any  supplies.  In  drawing  up  the  Rules  and  Regulations  for  the  trade, 
it  had  never  occurred  to  me  to  mention  men-of-war  as  being  free, 
feeling  assured  that  they  would  all  very  readily  give  five  times  the 
amount  of  the  articles  required  in  presents.  But  it  appears  that 
Captain  Belcher  did  not  think  proper  to  make  the  customary  present, 
and  the  chiefs  refused  to  allow  any  supplies  to  go  to  his  vessel  until  he 
should  comply  with  the  rules.  This  incensed  the  captain,  and  caused 
him  to  take  offence  at  the  missionaries,  who  he  supposed  prevented  the 
supplies  from  being  sent.  I  well  knew,  however,  that  they  were  guilt- 
less. He  likewise  broke  out  into  strong  invectives  against  the  chiefs, 
declaring  that  it  was  impossible  they  could  understand  the  rules,  &c., 
although  the  whole  proceeding  showed  they  were  not  only  conversant 
with  their  meaning,  but  also  with  the  power  they  had  in  their  hands  of 
compelling  the  visiter  to  pay.  The  following  native  letter  to  the 
missionary,  received  a  few  days  before  from  Tui  Ndraketi,  king  of 
Rewa,  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Cargill,  will  show  the  character  of  this  people, 
and  the  hght  in  which  they  viewed  the  visit  of  H.  B.  M.  ship  Sulphur. 


The  king  of  Rewa,  it  is  necessary  to  say,  is  a  heathen,  and  has  been 
much  opposed  to  the  missionaries  making  proselytes.  The  messenger 
presented  Mr.  Cargill  with  three  reeds  of  different  lengths,  the  longest 
of  which  signified  that  he  thought  the  Feejee  fashions  and  customs 
bad ;  the  second,  that  it  was  wrong  to  injure  white  men,  and  that  any 
Feejee  man  who  did  so  hereafter  should  be  punished ;  the  third,  that 
Captain  Belcher  was  a  wrongheaded  and  bad  man ;  that  he  did  not 
wish  to  see  his  ship  there  again,  or  have  any  thing  to  do  with  him,  as 
he  only  came  to  make  trouble,  and  look  at  the  sun,  and  consequently 
they  believed  him  to  be  a  foolish  fellow.  The  letter  was  to  condole 
with  the  missionary,  Mr.  Cargill,  whom  he  supposed  the  captain  had 

After  finishing  my  observations,  we  returned  to  the  schooner,  and  a 
chief  of  Rewa  brought  us  a  present  of  pigs,  for  which  he  received  an 
ample  return.     We  saw  but  few  natives,  and  they  all  behaved  civilly. 

Nukalau  is  a  low,  sandy  island,  well  covered  with  wood.  On  the 
eastern  side  it  has  an  extensive  coral  reef;  but  the  western  is  clear, 
and  may  be  approached  closely.  There  is  a  pool  of  water  on  the 
island,  but  no  one  could  water  a  ship  there  without  the  risk  of  causing 
sickness  on  board.  During  the  night  we  were  awakened  by  a  great 
noise  on  deck,  and  some  alarm  was  experienced.  It  proved,  however, 
to  be  the  chief's  pigs  that  had  jumped  overboard,  and  the  look-out 
endeavouring  to  take  them  ;  and  before  steps  could  be  taken  to  recap- 
ture them,  they  had  reached  the  island  and  effected  their  escape. 

The  Rev.  Mr.  Hunt  here  left  us  for  Rewa,  and  in  the  morning, 
before  daylight,  we  got  under  way,  on  our  return  to  Ovolau.  The 
day  having  proved  calm,  we  were  at  sunset  yet  some  distance  from 
the  island.  I  concluded,  therefore,  to  lay  under  Ambatiki  for  the 
night,  and  by  10  a.  m.  on  the  18th,  we  again  anchored  at  Levuka. 

The  night  of  the  17th,  during  my  absence  at  Rewa,  there  was  a 
report  that  the  observatory  was  to  be  attacked.  Thirty  men  were,  in 
consequence,  landed  by  Lieutenant  Carr,  and  double  guards  placed. 
The  alarm  arose  from  six  war-canoes  having  anchored  behind  the 
point  nearest  to  the  ship,  where  they  were  concealed  from  view.  The 
people  of  the  small  town  of  Vi  Tonga  left  their  town  with  all  their 
moveable  property  and  fled  to  the  mountains,  so  apprehensive  were 
they  of  an  attack.  Natives  were  seen  during  the  night  passing  to  and 
from  the  point,  who  were  believed  to  be  spies ;  nothing,  however,  oc- 
curred. In  the  morning  these  war-canoes  made  their  appearance, 
when  it  was  given  out  that  it  was  Seru,  with  a  war-party,  on  his  way 
to  attack  Goro.  His  real  intention,  it  was  thought,  was  an  attack 
upon  the  observatory,  as  he  must  have  known  that  the  usual  vigilance 


had  not  been  kept  up  there  for  the  last  week  or  ten  days.  His  views, 
whatever  they  may  have  been,  were,  however,  frustrated. 

Lieutenant  Underwood  and  Passed  Midshipman  Sandford,  I  found 
had  returned  from  the  survey  of  the  islands  of  Angau,  Nairai,  and 
Ambatiki,  to  the  eastward  of  Ovolau.  David  Whippy,  the  Maticum 
Ambau,  had  been  sent  with  them  as  an  interpreter,  and  to  hold  proper 
authority  over  the  natives. 

The  first  island  which  had  occupied  their  attention,  was  Ambatiki. 
It  is  in  shape  nearly  an  equilateral  triangle,  surrounded  by  a  reef, 
which  offers  no  protection  for  vessels,  and  only  passages  for  boats. 
The  island  is  seven  hundred  and  fifty  feet  high,  of  a  dome  shape,  and 
contains  five  hundred  inhabitants,  all  subject  (or  ygali)  to  Ambau. 
The  people  were  civil,  and  gave  them  taro  and  yams  in  plenty,  but 
would  not  part  with  any  pigs.  The  reason  given  for  this  was,  their 
fear  of  Tanoa.  They  live  in  villages  and  seem  thriving.  The  island 
has  very  little  wood  on  it.  The  reefs  extend  one-third  of  a  mile  from 
its  shore. 

Nairai  was  the  next  island  visited  by  them.  They  first  anchored  on 
the  west  end  of  the  Onoruga  Reef,  that  extends  oflf  from  the  middle  of 
Nairai,  five  miles  in  a  westerly  direction.  There  is  a  passage  betv^'een 
this  and  the  Mothea,  or  Eliza  Reef,  stretching  off"  from  the  island  to- 
wards the  south ;  and  there  are  also  a  good  passage  and  harbour  be- 
tween the  reef  and  the  island.  The  Cobu  Rock  is  a  good  mark  for 
the  former  passage,  when  it  bears  east.  It  lies  a  mile  south  of  the 
south  point  of  Nairai. 

The  boats  anchored  in  the  harbour  of  Venemole,  which  may  be 
known  by  two  small  islets,  joined  to  Nairai  by  the  reef,  which  forms 
a  protection  against  the  north  winds ;  and  vessels  of  any  draught  of 
water  may  anchor  here  in  fifteen  fathoms,  with  good  bottom,  from  a 
quarter  to  half  a  mile  from  the  shore.  Somewhat  farther  to  the  south- 
ward is  a  three-fathom  bank,  which  is  the  only  danger  that  exists 
inside  the  reef  towards  the  Cobu  Rock  or  southwest  passage.  About 
a  mile  to  the  north  is  Venemole  Bay.  It  is  circular,  with  a  narrow 
entrance,  affording,  seemingly,  a  good  harbour ;  but,  on  examination, 
this  entrance  proved  to  be  quite  shallow.  The  bay  had  the  appear- 
ance of  having  been  an  old  crater;  at  low  water,  it  may  almost  be 
said  to  become  a  lake.  The  officers  were  much  struck  with  the 
beauty  of  the  bay.  It  contains  a  village  of  the  same  name  and  also 
another,  called  Tulailai;  but  both  are  small.  The  natives  were  quite 

They  anchored  at  night  off"  the  town  of  Toaloa,  which  lies  in  a 
bight  at  the  north  end  of  the  island,  and  proved  the  largest  town  on 


the  island.  Here  David  Whippy,  acting  as  the  "  Maticum  Ambau," 
obtained  for  them  all  kinds  of  provisions,  and,  by  his  exertions  all 
night  in  superintending  the  cooking,  they  were  prevented  from  being 
delayed  the  next  day.  Whippy  told  me  that  this  island  held  a  medium 
betvi^een  mbati  and  ygali  to  Ambau,  being  not  exactly  in  that  state  of 
servitude  that  the  last  would  imply,  nor  yet  as  free  as  the  first. 

Nairai  is  famous  for  its  manufactures  of  mats,  baskets,  &c.,  a  large 
trade  in  which  is  carried  on  throughout  the  group  by  exchanges. 

The  reef  extends  from  the  island  four  miles  northward,  and,  where 
it  ends,  turns  for  a  short  distance  to  the  westward.  There  are  a  few 
patches  of  rock  on  its  western  side,  but  none  farther  from  it  than  half 
a  mile.  This  is  the  reef  on  which  the  Flying-Fish  struck  on  entering 
the  group,  and  where  she  came  near  being  lost.  It  does  not  join  the 
island,  but  is  connected  with  the  Mothea,  or  Eliza  Reef;  and  there  is, 
between  it  and  the  island,  a  good  ship  channel,  leading  to  the  large 
bay  of  Corobamba.  On  the  eastern  side  of  this  bay,  there  is  safe 
anchorage,  in  thirteen  fathoms  water,  with  a  white  sandy  bottom. 
The  reef,  extending  as  it  does  to  the  southward  for  a  long  distance, 
protects  it  from  the  sea  in  that  direction.  A  broad  passage  leads  from 
Corobamba  to  the  southward,  and  then  passes  between  Cobu  and 
Nairai  to  the  southwest  pass  through  the  reef.  The  only  danger  is  a 
small  coral  patch,  lying  east-southeast,  a  mile  from  the  south  end  of 
the  island,  and  a  mile  north  of  Cobu  Rock. 

The  town  of  Corobamba  lies  at  the  bottom  of  the  bay,  and  is  next 
in  size  to  Toaloa.  The  Cobu  Rock  is  a  singular  one.  It  is  inacces- 
sible on  three  sides,  of  volcanic  formation,  and  is  enclosed  by  the 
Mothea  Reef,  which  here  spreads  to  the  width  of  about  three  miles, 
and  extends  four  miles  farther  south,  where  it  forms  a  rounded  point. 
The  eastern  side  is  an  unbroken  reef,  but  the  western  is  somewhat 
irregular  and  broken,  with  many  openings  for  boats. 

Lieutenant  Underwood  ascended  the  Cobu  Rock,  for  the  purpose  of 
obtaining  angles;  and,  after  observing  these  with  his  instrument,  turn- 
ing to  take  the  compass's  bearing,  discovered  a  remarkable  effect  of 
local  attraction.  So  great  was  this,  as  to  cause  a  deviation  of  thirteen 
and  a  quarter  points ;  Nairai,  which  was  directly  to  the  north,  bearing, 
by  compass,  southeast-by-south  one  quarter  south,  while,  what  was 
quite  remarkable,  at  the  foot  of  the  rock,  near  the  water,  the  same 
compass  gave  the  bearing  north,  agreeing  with  that  taken  from  the 
opposite  bearing  on  Point  Musilana. 

They  next  fixed  the  southern  point  of  Mothea  Reef.  This  has 
obtained  the  name  of  the  Eliza  Reef,  from  the  loss  of  the  brig  of  that 
name  in  1809.     On  that  occasion  a  large  amount  of  dollars  fell  into 

VOL.  III.  a  2  24 


the  hands  of  the  natives,  who  fished  them  up  from  the  water.  They 
were  afterwards  traded  off  to  the  whites,  some  of  whom  told  me  they 
yet  occasionally  saw  a  native  wearing  one  as  a  kind  of  medal ;  but 
none  fell  under  our  notice.  This  accident  brought  the  notorious  rascal 
Charley  Savage  among  them. 

They  now  steered  for  the  northeast  point  of  Angau,  whence  the 
reef  extends  off  one  mile  and  a  half,  and  has  no  deep  water  inside  of  it. 
It  was,  therefore,  difficult  to  find  a  place  where  they  could  anchor  the 
boats,  but  at  last  they  found  anchorage  off  the  town  of  Vione,  which 
is  concealed  from  view  by  the  mangrove  bushes  that  line  the  shores  of 
this  island  for  several  miles.  Angau  is  much  larger  and  higher  than 
either  Ambatiki  or  Nairai. 

They  found  the  natives  of  Angau  much  more  shy  than  they  were 
at  either  of  the  other  islands.  Whippy  landed  and  chased  one  of  them 
into  the  woods,  before  he  could  make  him  understand  that  he  was  the 
great  Maticum  Ambau  of  whom  they  had  heard  so  much.  On  its 
becoming  known  to  them,  they  became  reconciled,  and  took  the  pro- 
visions on  shore  to  cook  them. 

The  reef  continues  round  the  east  side,  close  to  the  island.  There 
are  several  openings  in  it,  but  none  that  offer  a  fit  place  for  a  vessel 
to  anchor.  As  the  south  side  is  approached,  the  reef  extends  off  several 
miles,  and  the  water  upon  it  is  so  shoal  that  even  the  boats  were 
forced  to  keep  on  the  outside,  and,  for  want  of  an  opening,  were 
obhged  to  anchor  without  the  reef.  In  the  morning  they  crossed  the 
reef  at  high  water,  and  soon  got  into  deep  water.  The  survey  of  the 
southern  side  proved  there  was  safe  anchorage,  the  holding-ground 
being  good  in  twenty  fathoms  water  in  the  bay,  and  opposite  the  town 
of  Lakemba ;  but  during  a  southerly  blow,  a  vessel  would  be  much 
exposed  to  the  wind  and  sea.  There  are  several  openings  and  clear 
passages  through  the  reef  on  the  northwest  side,  and  clear  water  round 
to  the  south,  but  the  bights  to  the  north  are  full  of  coral  patches. 

There  are  villages  every  few  miles  around  this  island.  It  is  subject 
to  Ambau,  and  its  inhabitants  are  considered  much  more  savage  than 
those  of  the  other  islands  in  its  neighbourhood. 

Having  completed  the  surveys,  agreeably  to  his  instructions,  Lieu- 
tenant Underwood  returned  by  the  way  of  Ambatiki,  and  reached 
Levuka  after  an  absence  of  nine  days.  The  men  had  been  at  their 
oars  pulling  almost  constantly  for  the  period  of  eight  days,  sleeping  in 
the  boats,  and  seldom  allowed  to  land. 

Mr.  Knox  and  Colvocoressis  were  sent  with  the  tender  to  complete 
the  surveys  of  Wakaia,  Mokungai,  and  Mekundranga.  All  three  con- 
tain few  inhabitants,  and  have  been  the  scene  of  the  horrid  tragedies 


often  committed  by  the  stronger  on  the  weak  tribes  of  this  group. 
There  is  a  remarkable  shelf  formed  near  the  centre  of  the  island  of 
Wakaia,  which  goes  by  the  name  of  the  Chief's  or  Chieftain's  Leap. 
Near  this  there  is  now  a  small  town,  at  which  the  former  inhabitants 
for  some  time  defended  themselves  from  their  savage  enemies,  but 
being  hard  pressed,  and  finding  they  must  be  taken,  they  followed  their 
chief's  example,  threw  themselves  off  the  precipice,  several  hundred 
feet  in  height,  and  were  dashed  to  pieces,  to  the  number  of  a  hundred 
and  more. 

Mokungai  fell  under  the  displeasure  of  the  Ambau  chiefs,  and  the 
whole  population  was  exterminated  after  a  bloody  battle  on  the  beach 
of  its  little  harbour.  Some  of  the  whites  witnessed  this  transaction, 
and  bear  testimony  to  the  bloody  scene,  and  the  cannibal  feasting  for 
days  after,  even  on  those  bodies  that  were  far  gone  to  decay.  They 
are  both,  as  1  have  before  said,  under  the  rule  of  the  chief  of  Levuka. 

Wakaia  now  contains  only  about  thirty  inhabitants,  whilst  Mokungai 
has  only  one  or  two  families. 

While  the  schooner  was  at  Wakaia,  a  man  by  the  name  of  Murray, 
swam  on  shore,  assisted  by  one  of  the  air-mattrasses  to  buoy  him  up  and 
carry  his  clothes ;  it  was  two  or  three  days  before  he  was  taken,  which 
was  done  by  surprising  him  in  the  village ;  he  was  found  surrounded 
by  a  number  of  the  natives,  who  had  not  time  to  conceal  themselves. 
All  the  villages,  or  koros,  are  very  desirous  to  have  a  white  man  living 
with  them,  and  are  anxious  to  procure  one  if  they  can. 

These  islands  are  in  sight  from  Ovolau,  from  which  they  are 
separated  by  a  strait  of  ten  miles  in  width.  Although  several  miles 
apart,  they  are  situated  within  the  same  reef.  There  are  several 
openings  leading  through  the  reef  near  Wakaia,  on  its  eastern  side, 
but  they  cannot  be  recommended  except  for  small  vessels.  I  passed 
through  one  of  them,  but  found  it  much  blocked  up  with  coral  knolls. 
The  entrance  on  the  southwest  side,  leading  to  Flying-Fish  Harbour, 
is  quite  narrow.  On  the  west  side  of  Mokungai  there  is  also  a  small 
harbour,  formed  partly  by  reefs  and  partly  by  the  little  island  of 

Finding,  on  examination,  that  there  was  a  reef  that  had  not  been 
surveyed,  orders  were  sent  for  the  tender  to  return  to  Levuka, 
which  she  did  on  the  follow^ing  day,  and  on  the  next  I  sent  her,  with 
Lieutenant  Underwood,  to  examine  the  reef  off  Angau.  This  reef  is 
called  JMumbolithe,  and  is  situated  fourteen  miles  to  the  south  of  Lobo 
Hill,  the  southeast  point  of  Angau ;  it  is  oval  in  shape,  and  three-fourths 
of  a  mile  in  length ;  the  sea  breaks  on  it  at  all  times. 

In  returning  from  this  service,  when  off  Nairai,  they  had  a  narrow 



escape  from  shipwreck,  being  nearly  on  the  reef,  in  a  dark  night, 
before  it  was  discovered.  Any  other  vessel  of  the  squadron  but  the 
Flying-Fish  would  probably  have  been  lost;  but  her  admirable  quali- 
ties were  well  proved  in  the  exploration  of  this  dangerous  and  unknown 

Tui  Levuka  had  prepared  an  exhibition  of  the  native  club-dance, 
which  we  went  on  shore,  by  invitation,  on  the  24th,  to  witness.  For 
this  purpose,  all  the  chiefs  and  people  of  the  neighbouring  town,  under 
his  authority  were  called  upon  to  assist,  and  it  required  three  or  four 
days  to  complete  the  arrangements.  As  the  day  drew  near,  the  bustle 
of  preparation  increased,  and,  previous  to  our  landing,  many  people 
were  seen  running  to  and  fro,  to  complete  the  arrangements.  We 
were  shown  the  way  to  the  mbure,  the  platform  or  terrace  of  which, 
overlooking  the  whole  scene,  was  assigned  to  us.  The  street,  if  so  I 
may  call  it,  widened  and  formed  a  square  at  the  mbure,  both  sides 
being  enclosed  by  stone  walls ;  in  front,  at  about  thirty  paces  distance, 
were  seated  about  one  hundred  men  and  boys :  these  we  afterwards 
ascertained  were  the  musicians.  The  stone  walls  in  the  vicinity 
were  crowded  by  numbers  of  natives  of  both  sexes,  while  beyond  them 
an  open  space  was  apparently  reserved,  and  surrounded  by  numbers 
of  spectators. 


We  stood  in  expectation  of  the  opening  of  the  entertainment,  and 
were  amused  to  observe  the  anxiety  manifested  by  the  natives,  both 
old  and  young.     Suddenly  we  heard   shouts  of  loud  laughter  in  the 



open  space  beyond,  and  saw  moving  towards  its  centre  a  clown.  His 
body  was  entirely  covered  with  green  and  dried  leaves,  and  vines 
bound  round  in  every  way;  on  his  head  he  wore  a  mask  somewhat 
resembling  a  bear's  head,  painted  black  on  one  side,  and  orange  on 
the  other ;  in  one  hand  he  carried  a  large  club,  and  in  the  other,  one 
of  the  short  ones,  to  which  our  men  had  given  the  name  of  "  Handy 
Billy ;"  his  movements  were  very  much  like  those  of  our  clowns,  and 
drew  down  immense  applause  from  the  spectators.  The  musicians 
now  began  a  monotonous  song  on  one  note,  the  bass  alternating  with 
the  air ;  they  then  sound  one  of  the  common  chords  in  the  bass  clef, 
without  the  alternation.  Some  of  the  performers  clapped  their  hands 
to  make  a  sharp  sound ;  others  beat  sticks  together ;  while  a  few  had 
joints  of  large  bamboo,  two  or  three  feet  long,  open  at  one  end,  which 
they  struck  on  the  open  end,  producing  a  sound  similar  to  that  of  a 
weak-toned  drum.  Although  it  could  not  be  called  music,  they 
kept  good  time.  The  notes  of  the  music  were  obtained,  and  are  as 
follows : 













To  this  air  they  use  words  applicable  to  the  occasion.  The  dancers 
now  advanced  two  by  two,  from  behind  a  large  rock  which  had  served 
to  screen  them  from  view ;  they  were  all  dressed  in  their  gala  dresses, 
with  white  salas  and  new  masi  on ;  the  chiefs  had  around  their  turbans, 
wreaths  of  natural  vines  and  flowers,  which  had  a  pretty  effect ;  their 
faces  were  painted  in  various  patterns,  black  and  vermilion.  In  enter- 
ing, their  progress  was  slow,  taking  no  more  than  three  measured 
steps  between  each  halt;  as  they  drew  nearer  they  changed  their  order 
to  three  and  four  abreast,  using  their  clubs  in  a  variety  of  attitudes, 
which  are  well  represented  in  the  admirable  drawing  Mr.  Drayton  has 

190  LAKEMBA    AND    SaVU-SAVU. 

made  of  this  scene.  The  whole  number  of  dancers  in  the  procession 
was  upwards  of  a  hundred.  At  the  end  of  each  strain  of  music  tliey 
advanced  three  steps  at  a  time,  bowing  gracefully  to  us,  and  changing 
the  position  of  their  clubs.  When  all  had  entered  the  square  they 
became  more  violent  in  their  actions,  jumping,  or  rather  treading  the 
ground  violently,  at  the  same  time  joining  in  the  song.  Each  dance 
was  finished  with  a  kind  of  war-whoop  at  the  top  of  their  voices. 

1» — 

Wha hoo 

The  clown  was,  in  the  mean  time,  very  active  in  mimicking  the 
chiefs  and  the  most  remarkable  of  the  dancers.  The  whole  exhibition 
lasted  fully  an  hour,  and  when  the  dance  was  over,  each  brought  his 
club  and  laid  it  in  front  of  us  as  a  present.  These  weapons  formed  a 
very  large  pile ;  and  it  was  amusing  to  me  to  perceive  many  of  them 
change  their  clubs  for  those  of  much  less  value  before  they  brought 
them  to  present.  In  return  for  these,  they  expected  presents,  which 
were  given  them. 

John  Sac,  or  Tuatti,  our  New  Zealander,  was  desirous  of  showing 
the  dance  of  his  country,  which  excited  great  astonishment  among 
them.  John's  dance  was  one  of  great  energy  and  violence,  and  as 
opposite  from  that  we  had  just  witnessed  as  could  well  be  conceived. 
We  had  afterwards  several  dances  by  young  girls  and  children,  with 
which  the  afternoon's  amusements  ended. 

The  flute,  although  much  in  use  among  them,  was  not  played  on 
this  occasion.  It  consists  simply  of  a  piece  of  bamboo,  both  ends  of 
which  are  stopped ;  it  has  five  holes,  one  of  which  is  placed  near  the 
end,  to  which  the  left  nostril  is  applied.  Of  the  other  holes,  two  are  in 
the  middle,  and  two  at  the  other  end,  for  the  fingers.  This  instrument 
produces  a  low  plaintive  note,  which  is  but  slightly  varied  by  the 
closing  and  opening  of  the  holes.  It  is  sometimes  accompanied  by  the 
voice,  a  union  which  the  whites  informed  me  was  greatly  admired  by 
the  natives,  who  not  unfrequently  applaud  the  performance  by  clap- 
ping their  hands.  No  other  instrument  but  the  flute  is  played  by  the 
women  as  an  accompaniment  for  the  voice.  They  likewise  have  a 
kind  of  Pandean  pipe,  made  of  several  reeds  of  diflerent  sizes,  lashed 

The  next  day,  Tui  Levuka  paid  me  a  visit  for  the  purpose  of 
receiving  the  presents,  which  I  told  him  I  was  desirous  to  give  him,  in 
return  for  the  clubs  we  received  at  the  exhibition  of  the  dance.  He 
remained  late   in   the  evening,   in   order,   as  he   said,  to  prevent  the 


cook  and  men  had  not  been  treated  to  extra  presents,  although  they 
could  not  deny  that  they  had  been  liberally  paid ;  and,  as  we  looked 
upon  this  conduct  as  an  attempt  at  extortion,  no  more  notice  was 
taken  of  them,  and  they  sat  idle  during  the  whole  time. 

The  white  residents  at  Levuka  were  very  desirous  of  obtaining  a 
mission-school  for  their  children,  and  Mr.  Waldron  took  a  lively  in- 
terest in  promoting  this  object.  Having  bought  a  piece  of  ground 
from  the  chief,  he  presented  it  to  the  missionaries  for  the  purpose.  Mr. 
Cargill  stayed  a  few  days  at  Levuka,  after  our  departure,  in  order  to 
make  arrangements  respecting  the  erection  of  a  school-house  and 
chapel,  which  the  chief  had  promised  to  erect  on  the  ground,  that  the 
white  men  might  enjoy  their  own  religion,  or  lotu. 

Mr.  Hunt  mentioned  to  me,  that  the  gift  of  Mr.  Waldron  would, 
according  to  the  custom  of  the  Feejees,  enable  them  to  establish  a 
mission  station  at  Levuka,  notwithstanding  the  objections  of  Tanoa, 
for  the  owners  now  had  a  right  to  do  what  they  pleased  with  the  soil 
or  ground  that  belonged  to  them,  without  hindrance  or  control.  Tanoa 
has  hitherto  resisted  every  attempt  to  induce  him  to  admit  a  missionary 
within  his  immediate  sovereignty,  while  all  the  other  towns  or  districts 
have  acceded  to  and  desire  their  residence.  I  was  told  that  his  reason 
for  refusing  was,  that  he  considers  that  the  moment  the  missionary 
comes,  a  chief  loses  his  influence,  or  must  change  his  religion.  This 
he  now  was  too  old  to  do,  as  he  would  be  unable  to  learn  all  about  the 
gods  of  the  Papalangis,  and  it  would  be  showing  great  disrespect  to  his 
own  gods,  whom  he  has  worshipped  so  long.  I  have  myself  but  little 
doubt  if  Tanoa,  in  the  height  of  his  power,  had  embraced  Christianity, 
the  whole  of  his  people  would  have  followed ;  but  as  long  as  he  resists 
none  will  change,  partly  through  fear  of  their  own  chief,  but  more  so 
from  the  punishment  which  would  await  them  by  the  orders  of  the 
great  Ambau  chief. 

On  the  27th,  the  instruments  were  all  embarked,  and  the  return  of 
the  tender  enabled  me  to  put  to  sea  on  the  28th  of  June.  Intending  to 
visit  the  hot  springs  of  Savu-savu  on  Vanua-levu,  we  left  Levuka  in 
the  morning,  and  stood  over  towards  the  end  of  the  Wakaia  Reef, 
with  the  view  of  passing  round  it.  It  being  Sunday,  the  Rev.  Mr. 
Hunt,  who  was  a  passenger  on  board  with  me,  volunteered  to  officiate 
for  us,  which  was  gladly  accepted.  After  service,  I  found  the  wind 
would  not  permit  my  weathering  the  point  of  the  reef;  so  I  bore  up  to 
pass  through  the  Mokungai  Passage,  with  a  strong  breeze.  After 
getting  through  (which  we  had  some  difficulty  in  doing,  in  conse- 
quence of  the  strong  ebb  tide  setting  to  the  southward  and  westward), 
I  stood   on   towards   Direction  or  Nemena  Island,  intending,  as  the 

VOL.  in.  R  85 


wind  was  becoming  light,  to  enter  through  the  narrow  passage 
in  the  reef,  and  anchor  under  it,  rather  than  remain  surrounded 
by  reefs  during  the  night.  Tom  Granby  had  some  doubts  about 
the  propriety  of  attempting  it,  but,  as  I  knew  the  passage  well  my- 
self, I  determined  to  try  it,  if  we  reached  it  before  sunset.  On  our 
way  across,  we  saw  a  school  of  sperm  whales.  These  begin  to  fre- 
quent the  seas  around  these  islands  in  the  month  of  July,  are  most 
plenty  in  August  and  September,  and  continue  about  the  reefs  and 
islands  four  or  five  months.  I  am  informed  that  they  are  frequently 
seen  from  the  town  of  Levuka,  near  the  harbour  and  adjacent  reefs.  It 
seems  remarkable  that  the  natives  of  these  islands,  who  value  whales' 
teeth  so  highly,  should  have  devised  no  means  of  taking  the  animal 
that  yields  them,  although  it  frequents  their  seas  for  three  or  four 
months  in  the  year.  The  chiefs,  of  whom  I  inquired,  seemed  to  show 
an  ignorance  upon  the  subject  that  I  was  a  little  surprised  at.  Although 
daring  navigators  in  other  respects,  they  showed  a  great  difficulty  in 
comprehending  the  mode  of  capturing  whales.  Their  canoes  would 
not  be  adapted  to  this  object,  being  easily  overturned,  and,  as  yet,  they 
have  but  little  intercourse  with  whale-ships.  It  was  nearly  four  o'clock 
when  we  reached  the  passage  and  passed  through.  Out  of  either  gang- 
way a  biscuit  could  have  been  tossed  on  the  reef:  there  is  not  room  for 
two  vessels  to  pass.  Tom  could  not  help  congratulating  me  and  him- 
self that  we  had  got  through  in  safety.  Three  miles  more  brought  us 
to  the  anchorage.  The  weather  being  perfectly  clear,  and  all  the  peaks 
of  Ovolau  and  the  other  islands  to  the  south  in  sight,  I  determined  to 
take  advantage  of  it.  I  therefore  had  my  boat  lowered,  and,  as  soon 
as  the  ship  dropped  her  anchor,  pulled  for  the  shore,  where  I  reached 
the  station  I  had  before  occupied  when  in  the  tender,  and  succeeded  in 
getting  all  the  observations  1  desired. 

Before  leaving  the  ship,  I  had  ordered  Lieutenant  Alden  and 
Passed  Midshipman  Colvocoressis,  with  two  boats,  to  join  the  tender, 
and  proceed  to  the  survey  of  Goro  and  the  Horseshoe  Reef.  On 
my  return  on  board,  I  was  surprised  to  see  her  returning,  and  ascer- 
tained that  they  did  not  think  she  could  get  through  the  reefs,  on 
account  of  the  darkness.  I  immediately  sent  boats  to  assist  her 
through  with  lights,  for  I  did  not  think  the  alleged  impediment  a  suffi- 
cient one  to  prevent  her.  She  had  been  familiarly  nicknamed  by  the 
crew  as  "  The  Night-Hawk."  By  this  aid  she  got  through,  and,  in 
consequence,  they  were  off  Goro  the  next  morning,  ready  to  begin 
the  survey.  Thus,  much  time  was  saved  by  a  little  perseverance, 
and  a  determination  on  my  part  to  have  the  work  executed.  The 
occurrence  will  serve  to  show  the  difficulties  that  frequently  arose  in 


enforcing   the  strict  observance  of  orders,  by  which  a  loss  of  time 
incompatible  with  the  service  we  were  upon  was  often  sustained. 

The  next  day  completed  my  observations  and  finished  the  survey 
of  Nemena,  or  Direction  Isle.  In  the  afternoon  we  got  under  way, 
and  stood  over  to  the  northward  for  Savu-savu  on  the  island  of 
Vanua-levu.  The  wind  was  quite  light  when  we  passed  out  of  the 
reef,  on  the  opposite  side  to  that  where  we  had  entered  it.  I  had 
previously  sent  two  boats  to  examine  the  passage,  and  anchor  in  the 
deepest  water.  We  approached  the  passage  with  a  light  air,  having 
all  sail  set,  but  had  very  little  headway.  The  water  was  perfectly 
clear,  and  the  rocks,  and  fish,  with  the  bottom  and  keel  of  the  ship, 
were  plainly  visible.  When  we  got  in  the  passage,  the  officer  in  the 
boat  told  me  that  the  keel  looked  as  if  it  was  in  contact  with  the  coral ; 
the  lead,  however,  gave  three  fathoms,  one  and  a  half  feet  to  spare.  It 
was  a  little  exciting  for  twenty  minutes,  but  we  did  not  touch.  If  we 
had,  the  ship,  in  all  probability,  would  have  been  a  wreck ;  for,  as  the 
tide  was  falling,  she  would  have  hung  on  the  coral  shelf,  and  been  but 
partly  supported  by  it.  This  is  the  great  danger  attendant  on  the 
navigation  of  this  group,  as  indeed  of  all  coral  islands. 

We  were  becalmed  during  the  whole  night;  and  the  next  morning, 
finding  the  calm  still  continued,  I  took  to  my  boat,  directing  Lieu- 
tenant Carr  to  steer  in  for  the  bay  when  he  got  a  breeze,  supposing  it 
would  set  in  at  the  ordinary  time,  eleven  o'clock.  I  landed  on  a  small 
islet,  about  six  miles  from  the  place  where  I  left  the  ship,  and  near  the 
mouth  of  the  bay.  To  reach  the  islet  we  pulled  in  over  the  reef, 
which  had  on  it  about  four  feet  of  water.  The  islet  was  composed  of 
scoriaceous  lava,  much  worn,  and  about  twelve  feet  above  the  coral 
shelf  Here  I  established  myself,  and  was  busy  securing  my  observa- 
tions, when  I  discovered  that  my  boat  was  aground,  and  that  the  tide 
was  still  falling.  The  islet  as  well  as  the  reef  became  dry.  It  was 
not  long  before  we  observed  the  shadow  of  natives  projecting  from  a 
rock  about  fifty  yards  from  us,  who  it  now  appeared  were  watching 
us  closely ;  and  not  long  after  not  less  than  fifty  shadows  were  seen  in 
different  directions.  I  at  once  ordered  all  the  arms  and  ammunition 
to  be  brought  up  on  the  top,  and  made  our  situation  as  defensible  as 
possible,  for  I  had  little  doubt  if  they  saw  that  we  were  unprepared 
they  would  attack  us.  The  firing  of  one  or  two  guns,  and  the  show 
that  we  were  all  on  our  guard,  at  once  caused  a  change  in  their  inten- 
tions towards  us,  which  they  manifested  by  bringing  articles  of  trade. 

The  natives  of  this  part  of  the  group  are  considered  by  the  rest  as 
the  most  savage,  and  have  seldom  been  visited  by  the  whites.  The 
afternoon    came;    and  the   ship  not  having    made   much  progress,   1 


made  signal  for  a  boat,  for  my  men  had  nothing  to  eat,  and  had 
exhausted  their  water.  The  signal  was  after  some  time  seen  and 
answered,  and  a  boat  sent,  but  came  without  any  supply.  Towards 
sunset  we  were  relieved  from  our  awkward  situation,  and  shortly 
after,  the  tide  having  risen,  I  took  a  reconnaissance  of  the  point  of  the 
reef,  and  went  on  board.  A  light  breeze  springing  up,  we  stood  in ; 
but  the  wind  came  out  ahead,  and  I  was  obliged  to  send  three  boats 
to  anchor  near  the  danger,  in  order  to  be  able  to  enter.  I  reached  a 
temporary  anchorage  on  the  shelf  of  the  coral  reef  at  midnight.  This 
was  the  only  bottom  I  could  find  during  the  night,  and  we  dropped 
the  anchor  in  fourteen  fathoms.  Sounding  around  the  ship,  we  found 
she  had  scarcely  room  to  swing  with  twenty-five  fathoms  of  chain 
cable ;  but  it  was  better  than  beating  about  among  reefs,  the  position 
of  which  I  was  then  almost  wholly  ignorant  of  The  next  morning 
proved  our  position  to  be  far  from  enviable,  but  the  wind  kept  us  off 
the  reef  Some  officers  and  men  were  sent  to  search  the  reef  for 
shells,  others  were  engaged  in  surveying,  whilst  with  some  others  I 
procured  another  set  of  observations  on  the  islet,  off  Savu-savu  Point. 

In  the  afternoon  we  again  got  under  way,  and  proceeded  farther  up 
the  bay,  anchoring  off  Waicama,  or  the  hot  springs,  in  twenty-eight 
fathoms  water.  The  bay  of  Savu-savu  is  a  fine  sheet  of  deep  water, 
ten  miles  in  length,  east  and  west,  by  five  miles  in  breadth,  from  north 
to  south  ;  it  is  surrounded  by  very  high  and  broken  land,  rising  in 
many  places  into  lofty  needle-shaped  peaks;  it  is  protected  by  the 
extensive  reef  reaching  from  Savu-savu  Point  on  the  east,  to  Kom- 
belau  on  the  west,  excepting  a  large  opening  of  about  a  mile  in  width, 
two  miles  distant  from  Savu-savu  Point.  On  anchoring  I  despatched 
two  boats,  under  Lieutenants  Case  and  Underwood,  to  join  the  surveys 
we  had  made  in  the  tender,  as  far  as  Rativa  Island  ;  they  departed  the 
same  evening  on  this  duty.  The  projection  of  land  forming  Savu-savu 
Point  is  much  lower  than  that  on  the  other  sides  of  the  bay. 

I  visited  the  hot  springs,  which  are  situated  opposite  a  small  island, 
round  which  a  narrow  arm  of  the  bay  passes,  forming  a  small  har- 
bour ;  a  considerable  stream  of  fresh  water  enters  the  bay,  about  a 
mile  above  the  situation  of  the  springs. ,  On  landing,  we  found  the 
beach  absolutely  steaming,  and  warm  water  oozing  through  the  sand 
and  gravel ;  in  some  places  it  was  too  hot  to  be  borne  by  the  feet. 

The  hot  springs  are  five  in  number ;  they  are  situated  at  some  dis- 
tance from  the  beach,  and  are  nine  feet  above  the  level  of  high  water; 
they  occupy  a  basin  forty  feet  in  diameter,  about  half-way  between 
the  base  of  the  hill  and  the  beach.  A  small  brook  of  fresh  water, 
three   feet  wide  by  two  deep,  passes  so  close  to  the  basin,  that  one 



X  X  J  E  E  . 

hand  may  be  put  into  a  scalding  spring,  and  the  other  in  water  of  the 
temperature  of  75°.  That  of  the  spring  stands  at  200°  to  210°.  The 
waters  join  below,  and  the  united  streams  stand  at  145°,  which  dimi- 
nish in  temperature  until  they  enter  the  sea.  In  the  lower  part  of  the 
bed  of  the  united  stream,  excavations  have  been  made,  where  the 
natives  bathe.  The  rock  in  the  neighbourhood  is  compact  coral  and 
volcanic  breccia,  although  it  is  no  where  to  be  seen  exposed  within  a 
third  of  a  mile  of  the  spring.  The  ground  about  the  spring  is  a  deep 
brown  and  black  mould,  covered  with  coarse  native  grass,  (a  species 
of  Scirpus,)  which  is  thickly  matted.  There  is  no  smell  of  sulphur, 
except  when  the  head  is  brought  as  close  as  possible  to  the  water;  but 
it  has  a  strong  saline  taste.  No  gas  appeared  to  be  disengaged.  The 
basin  is  in  a  mixture  of  blue  and  brown  clay,  and  little  grass  grows 
in  it. 

These  springs  are  used  by  the  natives  to  boil  their  food,  which  is 
done  by  putting  the  taro  or  yams  into  the  spring,  and  covering  them 
up  with  leaves  and  grass.  Although  the  water  scarcely  had  any 
appearance  of  boiling  before,  rapid  ebullition  ensues.     It  gurgles  up 

198  L  A  K  E  M  B  A    A  N  D    S  A  V  U- S  A  V  U. 

to  a  height  of  eight  or  ten  inches,  with  the  same  noise  as  is  made  by 
a  cauldron  when  over  the  fire.  Taro,  yams,  &c.,  that  were  put  in, 
were  well  done  in  about  fifteen  minutes.  The  mouths  of  the  springs 
are  from  eighteen  inches  to  two  feet  in  diameter,  and  have  apparently 
been  excavated  by  the  natives  for  their  own  purposes.  The  account 
they  give  of  them  is,  that  they  have  always  been  in  the  same  state 
since  the  spirit  fii'st  took  up  his  abode  there.  They  are  convinced  that 
he  still  resides  there,  and  the  natives  say  that  one  spring  is  kept  pure 
for  him,  which  they  do  not  use.  There  is  one  ambati  or  priest  who 
has  communication  with  the  spirit,  and  there  was  a  small  mbure  build- 
ing between  the  springs  and  the  beach.  A  chief  amused  me  by  say- 
ing that  "  the  Papalangi  had  no  hot  water,  and  that  the  natives  were 
much  better  off,  for  they  could  go  to  sleep,  and  when  they  woke  up, 
they  always  found  their  water  boiling  to  cook  their  food  in." 

From  the  accounts  of  the  natives,  this  place  was  formerly  very 
populous,  but  constant  wars  have  destroyed  or  expelled  the  dwellers. 
At  present  there  are  but  few,  and  none  reside  nearer  than  the  town  of 
Savu-savu,  which  is  two  miles  off. 

On  the  hills  behind  the  springs,  there  has  been  one  of  the  strongest 
forts  in  the  Feejee  Islands.  It  has  two  moats,  and  in  the  centre  was 
a  high  mound,  that  had  evidently  cost  much  labour  in  its  construction. 
These  hills  were  bare  of  trees. 

On  my  return  I  stopped  on  a  coral  rock,  one-third  of  a  mile  from 
the  springs,  through  which  boiling  water  was  issuing  in  several  places. 
This  rock  is  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  from  the  beach,  and  is  covered 
at  high  water,  but  at  low  tide  rises  about  three  feet  above  the  surface ; 
it  is  ten  feet  wide  by  twenty  long.  Mixed  or  embedded  in  this  coral 
rock  is  a  large  quantity  of  comminuted  shells.  One  hundred  and  fifty 
or  sixty  feet  further  in  the  woods  there  is  another  boiling  spring,  from 
which  a  large  quantity  of  water  is  thrown  out ;  indeed  the  whole  area, 
of  half  a  mile  square,  seems  to  be  covered  with  hot  springs.  The 
coral  rock  was  so  hot  that  the  hand  could  not  be  kept  upon  it.  A 
considerable  quantity  of  the  water  was  procured,  and  has  been  ana- 
lyzed by  Dr.  Charles  T.  Jackson,  of  Boston.  It  gives  the  following 

Sp.  gr.  1-0097  ;  Temperature,  57°  F. ;  Barom.,  30-89  in. 

A  quantity  of  the  water,  equal  in  measure  to  one  thousand  grains 
of  distilled  water,  was  evaporated  to  entire  dryness,  and  the  weight  of 
the  salts  amounted  to  7-2  grains. 


These  salts  yielded  upon  analysis  the  following  results : 

Chlorine           ..... 


Sodium            ..... 

1-G65  or  Soda— 2-238 

Magnesia         ..... 


Lime                 ..... 


Silica  and  iron,  with  a  trace  of  phosphate  of  lime 


Carbonic  acid  ..... 



Organic  matter  and  loss 



Early  "in  the  morning,  the  launch  and  first  cutter  came  in.  From 
the  officer's  report,  I  found  that  he  had  surveyed  (since  I  left  him  on 
the  4th  of  June  on  Passage  Island)  the  reef  between  it  and  Vanua-levu, 
and  part  of  the  distance  down  to  Mbua  or  Sandalwood  Bay.  There 
he  had  remained  inactive  for  ten  or  twelve  days,  until  Captain  Hudson 
sent  him  a  fresh  supply  of  provisions,  and  additional  orders  to  proceed 
along  the  south  side  of  Vanua-levu,  which  he  was  doing  when  he 
joined  me.  In  extenuation  of  his  delay  at  Sandalwood  Bay,  he  pleaded 
the  literal  construction  of  his  orders ;  they  will  be  found  in  Appendix 
VIII.  On  such  duty,  a  commanding  officer  frequently  labours  under  a 
disadvantage  from  giving  officers  more  credit  for  a  zealous  disposition 
than  they  deserve.  I  thought  the  orders  were  sufficiently  explicit  to 
have  allowed  a  construction  to  be  placed  upon  them  that  would  have 
saved  much  valuable  time,  and  have  left  the  officer  full  liberty  to  work 
hard  if  he  were  so  inclined.  The  bay  of  Mbua  was  not  even  surveyed, 
and  I  was  forced  to  send  him  back  again  the  same  afternoon  to  the 
survey  of  the  route  he  had  already  passed  over. 

On  the  3d  of  July,  we  were  engaged  in  surveying  the  upper  portion 
of  the  bay,  and  in  making  astronomical  observations  which  were  all 
completed  by  night. 

Towards  evening  the  tender  came  in  and  anchored,  having  suc- 
ceeded in  accomphshing  the  survey  of  both  the  island  of  Goro  and  the 
Horseshoe  Reef.  The  former  is  considered  by  the  natives  one  of  the 
most  fruitful  islands  of  the  group ;  it  is  a  high  island,  though  not  so 
much  broken  as  the  others,  and,  from  appep ranee,  would  be  suscepti- 
ble of  cultivation  to  its  very  top.  It  is  ygali  to  Ambau,  by  which  it  is 
constantly  looked  to  for  supplies.  It  is  surrounded  by  a  reef,  which  is, 
for  the  most  part,  a  shore-reef,  and  affords  no  harbour ;  there  is,  how- 
ever, anchorage  on  the  northwest  side.  The  island  is  nine  and  a  half 
miles  long,  by  four  miles  wide.     The  produce  of  Goro  is  oil  and  tor- 


toise-shell,  and  exceeds  in  quantity  that  of  any  other  island  of  the  group ; 
its  population  is  two  thousand. 

The  Horseshoe  Reef  lies  between  Goro,  Nairai,  and  Wakaia  ;  it  is  an 
extremely  dangerous  one.  The  name  is  derived  from  its  shape,  and 
its  opening  is  on  the  north  side ;  it  is  even  with  the  water,  which  after 
stormy  weather  may  be  seen  breaking  on  it,  from  the  heights  of 
Ovolau  ;  it  is  one  mile  in  diameter  ;  there  are  no  other  dangers  nearer 
to  it  than  the  north  reef  of  Nairai. 

On  the  4th  of  July,  I  suspended  work,  and  gave  the  crew  liberty  to 
go  on  shore,  which  they  enjoyed  greatly,  and  amused  themselves 
with  playing  at  ball  and  other  exercises.  Many  of  them  scalded  and 
cleaned  their  pork  in  the  hot  water  at  the  coral  rocks. 

On  our  first  arrival  here,  few  natives  made  their  appearance,  but  we 
soon  had  a  number  of  them  around  us  from  all  parts  of  the  bay.  Some 
of  these  from  the  west  side  were  savage  and  wild-looking  fellows. 
There  were,  in  all,  about  two  hundred,  and  the  females  were  much 
better  looking  than  those  we  had  heretofore  seen.  The  latter  danced 
for  us ;  if  the  motions  of  their  arms  and  legs,  and  clapping  of  their 
hands  to  a  kind  of  chaunt,  resembling  that  of  the  Jews  in  their  syna- 
gogue, deserve  to  be  so  denominated.  Their  mode  of  dress  is  much 
the  same  as  in  the  other  parts  of  the  group. 

Among  all  this  number  we  did  not  see  one  man  over  forty  years 
of  age ;  and  on  asking  for  the  old  people,  we  were  told  they  were  all 
buried  ! 

The  district  of  Savu-savu,  from  the  best  estimate  I  could  obtain, 
contains  about  two  thousand  three  hundred  inhabitants.  This  district 
includes  the  part  of  the  south  coast  of  Vanua-levu,  from  Fawn  Har- 
bour, in  the  Tukonreva  district,  to  Nemean  Point,  about  eight  miles 
west  of  the  town  of  Savu-savu;  it  contains  seventeen  koros  or  towns. 

To  the  westward  of  Savu-savu  district  is  Wailevu,  which  extends 
beyond  Kombelau,  where  the  chief  resides.  He  is  said  to  have  one 
hundred  towns  under  him.  This  is,  undoubtedly,  an  exaggeration, 
although  his  district  is  populous,  and  from  information  I  received,  the 
number  of  people  under  his  rule  may  be  set  down  as  nearly  seven 
thousand.  These  two  districts  are  entirely  independent  of  the  great 
chief  of  the  Feejees.  The  inhabitants  are  a  fine-looking  race  of  men, 
and  we  were  told  that  they  are  well  disposed  towards  the  whites.  The 
young  women  are  the  best-looking  of  any  I  have  met  with  in  the  group, 
and  are  treated  with  more  consideration  and  equality  than  is  usual 
among  these  islands. 

The  natives  about  Savu-savu  evinced  much  greater  curiosity  re- 
specting us  than  we  had  heretofore  remarked,  and  those  from  the  bay 


are  particularly  wild-looking.  As  elsewhere,  when  asked  about  the 
people  of  the  interior,  they  describe  them  as  being  ferocious  and 
crnel,  saying  that  they  go  entirely  naked,  wearing  no  tapa ;  are  very 
large  and  strong,  eating  roots  and  wild  berries.  They  invariably  con- 
nect something  marvellous  with  their  accounts;  but  on  closely  ques- 
tioning these  men,  they  all  agreed  that  they  had  never  seen  one,  and, 
from  all  the  inquiries  I  have  made  through  the  missionaries,  natives 
and  whites,  I  am  satisfied  there  are  very  few,  if  any,  inhabitants  that 
dwell  permanently  in  the  mountains.  It  is  contrary  to  the  usual 
habits  of  the  Feejees,  and  those  of  all  the  groups  in  the  Pacific.  The 
climate  of  the  mountains  is  too  cold  and  wet,  and  entirely  unsuited  to 
their  tastes  and  habits;  so  far  from  seeking  the  high  lands,  they  are 
invariably  found  inhabiting  the  fruitful  valleys,  and  only  in  times  of 
danger  and  war  resort  to  neighbouring  inaccessible  peaks,  to  protect 
themselves  against  their  more  powerful  adversaries.  Their  food  is 
almost  exclusively  produced  in  the  low  grounds  and  along  the  sea- 
shore, for  it  consists  principally  of  fish,  taro,  yams,  and  cocoa-nuts, 
and  the  latter,  as  has  been  before  observed,  seldom  reach  maturity 
oven  at  the  altitude  of  six  hundred  feet. 

The  bay  of  Savu-savu  may  be  known  by  a  remarkable  saddle- 
shaped  peak,  lying  just  behind  it;  there  are  several  other  high  peaks, 
that  show  the  interior  to  be  very  rugged  and  high.  Some  of  these 
peaks  reach  the  altitude  of  four  thousand  feet. 

On  the  evening  of  the  4th,  Lieutenant  Case  returned,  having  finished 
the  survey,  connecting  his  work  on  with  Rativa  Island.  There  was  no 
harbour  found  along  this  shore,  expect  for  very  small  vessels  and  boats. 

Lieutenant  Alden,  in  the  Flying-Fish,  was  now  directed  to  proceed 
and  examine  some  reefs  on  the  north  side  of  Vitilevu,  that  he  reported 
having  seen  from  the  top  of  the  Annan  Islands,  and  also  to  examine 
the  ot^ng  for  reefs.     He  sailed  on  this  duty  at  ten  o'clock  at  night. 

At  daylight  on  the  5th,  the  Vincennes  got  under  way  to  proceed  to 
Mbua  or  Sandalwood  Bay,  with  a  moderate  and  favourable  breeze. 
I  determined  to  take  the  outside  passage  off  Kombelau  Point,  although 
that  usually  pursued,  which  is  close  to  the  land,  is  considered  the 
safest.  There  is  a  reef  off  Kombelau  Island,  five  miles  in  length  by 
two  in  width;  and  beyond,  and  between  it  and  the  great  Passage 
Island  Reef,  there  is  a  passage  supposed  to  be  full  of  shoals.  I  had 
reason  to  believe,  however,  from  the  examination  of  Lieutenant  Perry 
and  Mr.  De  Haven,  that  there  would  be  no  difficulty  in  taking  the 
ship  through,  which  I  accordingly  did.  This  channel  has  shoals  in  it, 
some  with  but  a  few  feet  of  water  over  them,  while  others  have  suffi- 
cient for  any  class   of  vessels.     The   least  water  we   had   was  nine 

VOL.  III.  26 


L  A  K  E  M  B  A    AND    S  A  V  U  -  S  A  V  U. 

fathoms.  I  believe  we  were  enabled  to  locate  all  the  shoals  in  it,  and 
I  think  it  a  safe  passage.  With  the  sun  in  the  east,  and  steering 
towards  the  west,  the  dangers  are  distinctly  visible.  After  passing 
through  this  channel,  we  kept  the  great  reef  in  sight,  sailing  for  Buia 
Point.  When  about  half  way  to  that  point,  we  passed  along  a  reef  a 
mile  in  length,  lying  four  miles  off  the  large  island.  The  water  is  so 
smooth  within  these  reefs  that  it  is  necessary  to  keep  a  good  look-out 
from  aloft,  as  the  smaller  ones  seldom  have  any  break  on  them. 

Beyond  Buia  Point  the  passage  becomes  still  more  intricate,  and 
opposite  Rabe-rabe  Island  it  is  quite  narrow,  though  there  is  ample 
water  for  any  vessel.  We,  however,  went  briskly  on,  having  a  fine 
breeze  from  the  eastward.  After  getting  sight  of  the  Lecumba  Point 
Reef,  there  is  but  a  narrow  channel  into  the  bay,  which  we  reached  at 
half-past  3  p.  m.  The  Peacock  had  just  arrived  from  the  north  side  of 
Vanua-levu,  and  anchored. 

Mbua  or  Sandalwood  Bay,  though  much  filled  with  large  reefs, 
offers  ample  space  for  anchorage.  The  holding-ground  is  excellent, 
and  the  water  not  too  deep.  The  bay  is  of  the  figure  of  a  large  segment 
of  a  circle,  six  miles  in  diameter,  and  is  formed  by  Lecumba  Point  on 
the  east  and  that  of  Dimba-dimba  on  the  west.  The  land  immediately 
surrounding  it  is  low,  but  a  few  miles  back  it  rises  in  high  and  pic- 
turesque peaks.  That  of  Corobato  is  distinguished  from  the  Vitilevu 
shore,  and  has  an  altitude  of  two  thousand  feet.  The  shores  of  the 
bay  are  lined  with  mangroves,  and  have,  generally,  extensive  mud-flats. 
There  are  few  facilities  here  for  obtaining  either  wood  or  water,  as 
the  anchorage  is  a  long  distance  from  the  shore.  Several  small 
streams  enter  the  bay  in  its  upper  part,  flowing  from  some  distance  in 
the  interior.  This  was  the  principal  place  where  the  sandalwood  was 
formerly  obtained,  but  it  has  for  some  years  past  been  exhausted.  1 
shall  defer  speaking  of  this  district  until  I  have  given  an  account  of  the 
operations  of  the  Peacock. 

^f^EStfJ-      — 


CH  APT  Ell  YIL 






On  the  26th  of  May,  the  Peacock  was  off  Vatulele.  Leaving 
Mbenga  to  the  north,  Kantavu  on  the  south,  and  passing  through  the 
sea  of  Kantavu,  they  had  surveyed  the  southwest  side  of  Vatulele,  and 
afterwards  stood  for  the  opening  in  the  reef  off  the  west  end  of  Viti- 
levu,  through  which  they  passed  after  sunset,  anchoring  on  the  inside 
of  the  reef  of  Navula,  in  thirteen  fathoms  water.  This  is  the  limit  of 
the  king  of  Rewa's  authority. 

On  the  morning  of  the  27th,  they  coasted  along  the  land  inside  of 
the  reef.  The  shores  of  Vitilevu  are  here  low ;  but  the  land  within  a 
short  distance  rises  to  the  height  of  one  thousand  feet,  and  has  a 
brown  and  barren  appearance.  It  is  destitute  of  trees,  except  on  the 
low  points  along  the  shores,  which  are  covered  with  mangrove 
(Rhizophora)  and  cocoa-nut  groves.  Here  and  there  is  a  deep  valley 
or  mountain-top  clothed  with  wood,  which  is  seen  in  no  other  places. 
This  was  afterwards  observed  to  be  generally  the  case  with  the  lee- 
ward side  of  all  the  islands,  and  particularly  of  the  large  ones.  I  do 
not  think  that  this  can  be  accounted  for  by  the  difference  of  cHmate, 
although  it  is  much  drier  on  the  lee  than  on  the  weather  side ;  but  I 
deem  it  probable  that  the  practice  of  burning  the  yam-beds  and 
clearing  the  ground  by  fire,  may  have  consumed  all  the  forests,  in 
dry  seasons.  The  yam  is  extensively  cultivated  every  where,  and, 
from  our  observations,  it  would  seem  that  the  leeward  parts  of  the 
island  would  afford  most  excellent  pasturage  for  cattle ;  yet  it  is 
remarkable,  that,  although  several  head  of  cattle  were  introduced 
about  five  years  before  our  visit,  they  have  not  in  a  single  instance 

200  .  MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA. 

Beyond  the  immediate  coast,  the  land  rises  in  mountain  ranges, 
between  four  and  five  thousand  feet  hio-h. 

The  islands  to  the  west — the  Asaua  Group,  with  Malolo,  Yomo, 
and  the  adjacent  low  coral  islands — are  all  in  sight,  with  their  laby- 
rinth of  reefs;  whilst  the  numerous  towns  of  Vitilevu,  perched  on 
their  eyrie  cliffs,  continued  to  meet  the  eye,  showing  very  conclusively 
that  the  savage  character  of  the  natives  had  rather  increased  than 

Towards  sunset  the  vessel  ran  upon  a  coral  lump,  which  gave  her  a 
considerable  jar;  but,  on  getting  out  a  kedge,  they  very  soon  hauled 
off,  when  Captain  Hudson  anchored  for  the  night.  He  describes  the 
channel  through  which  he  was  compelled  to  beat  as  being  tortuous. 
There  are  many  sand-banks  on  the  reefs,  and  small  patches  of  rock, 
but  it  is  easy  to  avoid  them.  The  sunken  knoll  of  coral  on  which 
they  struck  had  about  twelve  feet  of  water  on  it,  and  Vv^as  of  small 
dimensions :  the  bow  and  stern  of  the  ship  were,  one  in  thirteen  the 
other  in  ten  fathoms,  while  she  hung  amidships. 

In  the  evening,  partly  as  a  signal  for  the  absent  boats  that  were 
appointed  to  meet  the  ship  here,  and  partly  for  effect  on  the  natives, 
they  fired  an  evening  gun,  burnt  a  blue-light,  and  set  off  three  rockets, 
or  as  the  natives  term  them,  "  fiery  spirits."  These  brought  forth 
many  shouts  from  the  land,  which  were  audibly  heard  on  board,  al- 
though the  vessel  was  at  a  great  distance  from  the  shore.  These  sig- 
nals were  soon  answered  by  a  rocket  from  the  boats,  which  joined  the 
ship  early  the  next  morning. 

Lieutenant  Emmons,  his  officers  and  boats'  crews,  were  all  weU. 
No  accident  had  occurred  to  them,  and  he  reported  that  he  had 
finished  his  work.  After  leaving  the  ship  at  Rewa,  he  passed  outside 
the  reef  for  several  miles,  until  he  came  to  a  narrow  and  deep  passage 
through  the  reef,  which  led  to  a  spacious  harbour,  on  which  lies  the 
village  of  Suva.  The  natives  of  this  village  told  Mr.  Emmons's  inter- 
preter, that  they  were  subjects  of  the  king  of  Rewa,  and  that  they  had 
lately  become  Christians.  This  is  the  village  where  the  Reverend  Mr. 
Cargill  had  been  the  Sunday  preceding,  and  its  inhabitants  were  the 
first  proselytes  he  had. 

Suva  Harbour  was  surveyed  and  found  to  be  an  excellent  one,  free 
from  shoals,  well  sheltered,  and  with  good  holding-ground,  easy  of 
ingress  and  egress,  with  an  abundance  of  wood  and  water.  It  lies 
ten  miles  west  of  Rewa  Roads. 

During  their  stay  there,  they  had  some  heavy  squalls,  accompanied 
with  thunder,  lightning,  and  much  rain.     From  the  frequent  occur- 

MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA.  2;)7 

rence  of  these  squalls  every  thing  in  the  boats  became  wet,  compelling 
them  to  sleep  in  their  wet  clothes. 

On  the  20th,  the  boats  stood  over  for  Mbenga.  They  found  the 
current  setting  very  strong  to  the  eastward,  which  made  a  disagree- 
able short  sea,  obliging  them  to  keep  two  hands  baling  to  prevent  the 
boat  from  swamping.  Towards  night  they  entered  the  reef  that  sur 
rounds  Mbenga  through  a  shallow  passage,  and  anchored  off  a  deep 
harbour,  where  they  remained  for  the  night.  The  next  morning, 
Lieutenant  Emmons  examined  Sawau  Harbour,  which  he  found  two 
miles  deep  and  one  wide,  contracting  at  the  entrance  to  a  quarter  of  a 
mile ;  it  has  good  anchorage  in  from  four  to  ten  fathoms  water,  on  a 
muddy  bottom.  This  harbour  enters  from  the  north,  and  nearly 
divides  the  island  in  two. 

Mbenga  rises  on  all  sides  towards  two  very  prominent  peaks,  which 
were  found  by  triangulation  to  be  twelve  hundred  and  eighty-nine  feet 
in  height.  The  land  round  the  harbour  of  Sawau  rises  in  most  places 
from  one  to  two  hundred  feet.  At  the  head  of  the  harbour  a  few  huts 
were  seen  perched  upon  a  perpendicular  craggy  rock,  about  five 
hundred  feet  higher  than  the  surrounding  land.  The  natives  were 
very  civil,  and  laid  aside  their  arms  at  some  distance  from  the  party, 
before  they  approached ;  they  brought  bread-fruit,  yams,  &c.,  to  trade. 
The  island  appears  in  many  places  burnt,  the  natives  setting  fire  to  the 
tall  grass  before  planting  their  crops.  Another  harbour  was  found  on 
the  west  side,  which  I  have  called  Elliott's.  This  is  not  so  deep  as 
the  one  on  the  north,  but  is  more  open  at  its  entrance,  and  is  sur- 
rounded by  equally  high  land.  On  the  left  of  the  entrance  is  a  white 
sand  beach,  and  a  neat  village  of  about  thirty  huts.  There  are  two 
small  islands  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Mbenga,  one  of  which  lies  to 
the  south,  and  is  called  Stuart's,  and  the  other  to  the  eastward,  to 
which  Lieutenant  Emmons  gave  the  name  of  Elizabeth. 

The  island  of  Mbenga  has  suffered  severely  of  late,  years  from  the 
tyrannical  power  of  the  Rewa  chiefs,  and  is  now  ygali  to  Rewa. 
Formerly,  its  inhabitants  had  a  high  idea  of  their  importance,  styling 
themselves  "  Ygali  dura  ki  langi" — subject  only  to  heaven  ;  but  of  la'e 
years,  in  consequence  of  their  having  offended  the  king  of  Rewa,  he 
sent  a  force  which  finally  overcame  them,  and  butchered  nearly  all  the 

Ngaraningiou  is  said  to  have  been  the  bloody  executioner  of  this 
act.  Since  that  time  these  descendants  of  the  gods,  according  to  their 
mythology,  have  lost  their  political  influence. 

Mbenga,  like  all  the  large  islands  of  this  group,  is  basaltic.  Its 
shape  is  an  oval,  five  miles  long  by  three  wide. 

208  MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTIIUATA. 

The  boats  now  explored  the  reef,  and  anchored  at  night  under 
Namuka,  within  the  same  reef  as  Mbenga.  They  found  about  one 
hundred  natives  on  this  island,  who  were  very  friendly,  bringing  thera 
quantities  of  cocoa-nuts,  fish,  and  some  small  articles,  for  traffic. 

The  reef  on  the  northwest  side  was  found  to  contain  many  ship- 

After  the  examination  of  these,  they  visited  Bird  Island,  lying  in  the 
passage  between  Mbenga  Reef  and  Vitilevu.  The  reef  off  this  part 
of  Vitilevu  nearly  joins  that  of  Mbenga.  Two  miles  beyond  this, 
Lieutenant  Emmons  entered  a  well-sheltered  harbour,  where  the  boats 
stayed  over-night.  About  three  miles  to  the  westward  of  it,  they 
found  another  similarly  situated,  after  which  they  continued  to  pro- 
ceed down  the  coast,  along  the  reef,  without  meeting  any  harbour 
until  after  dark,  when  they  succeeded  in  getting  into  the  exposed  one 
at  Ndronga.  Just  before  anchoring,  it  being  quite  dark,  they  were 
hailed  several  times  in  the  native  language  from  a  small  vessel,  and 
not  answering,  they  were  about  being  fired  into  from  the  •'  Who 
would  have  thought  it !"  Mr.  Winn,  who  was  lying  here  collecting 
tortoise-shell  for  the  ship  Leonidas,  Captain  Eagleston,  which  vessel 
was  then  curing  biche  de  mar  at  Ba,  on  the  north  side  of  the  island. 

The  harbour  (if  so  it  may  be  called)  of  Ndronga,  affords  no  protec- 
tion against  the  southwest  winds,  and  is  only  suitable  for  small  vessels. 
The  anchorage  is  in  five  fathoms  water.  The  reef  from  this  point 
westward  increases  in  distance  from  the  shore  from  one  to  two  miles. 
It  extends  to  the  westward  six  miles  further,  where  an  opening  in  the 
reef  occurs,  which  leads  to  a  harbour.  The  entrance  of  this  was 
narrow,  and  open  to  the  southward  and  westward,  the  reef  broken, 
and  some  sunken  patches  of  rock.  On  the  eastern  side  of  the  harbour 
there  is  a  small  islet  with  cocoa-nut  trees,  on  which  Lieutenant  Em- 
mons landed.  Here  he  found  a  native's  hut,  but  no  inhabitants.  Some 
shells  and  cocoa-nuts  were  procured,  and  the  harbour  was  sounded 
out,  after  which  the  boats  put  to  sea. 

Five  miles  beyond  this  harbour  they  came  to  the  Malolo  Island 
Passage,  where  the  great  sea-reef  from  the  westward  joins,  having 
two  entrances,  the  largest  of  which  I  have  named  the  Malolo  Passage. 
That  to  the  eastward,  which  I  called  the  Navula  Passage,  they  passed 
through,  and  anchored  at  night  under  the  town  of  Navula.  The 
"  Who  would  have  thought  it !"  again  joined  their  company. 

On  the  26th,  Lieutenant  Emmons  gained  Ba,  the  point  where  his 
work  was  to  terminate,  and  be  joined  by  that  of  the  other  parties.  On 
ihe  28th  they  went  alongside  of  the  Peacock,  after  having  been  in  the 
boats  seventeen  days. 

M  B  U  A    BAY    AND    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A.  20'J 

The  Peacock  now  took  the  launch  and  cutter  in  tow,  and  began 
beating  up  for  the  purpose  of  reaching  the  Malaki  Islands,  in  order  to 
take  a  departure  from  Amboa  Bay. 

The  natives  on  this  side  of  the  island  speak  quite  a  different  dialect 
from  that  of  the  other  portions  of  the  group,  and  the  interpreters  were 
not  able  to  understand  them  at  all.  Few  canoes  were  seen,  and  none 
visited  them.  The  land  close  to  the  shore  is  low,  but  it  gradually 
rises  for  five  or  six  miles  in  hills  from  five  to  seven  hundred  feet  in 
height;  and  here  and  there  through  the  breaks  maybe  seen  the  dis- 
tant blue  mountains,  towering  above  them. 

While  the  ship  was  standing  in  towards  Ba,  the  launch  capsized 
and  sunk.  At  the  time  there  were  two  men  in  her,  by  whose  care- 
lessness the  accident  occurred;  these  were  both  picked  up.  Captain 
Hudson  immediately  brought  the  Peacock  to  an  anchor,  lowered  all 
the  boats,  and  made  every  possible  exertion  to  recover  the  launch, 
but  without  success.  This  was  a  great  loss  to  our  surveying  opera- 
tions, and  compelled  us  to  redouble  our  exertions. 

In  the  evening  they  anchored  off  Ba,  where  the  ship  Leonidas, 
Captain  Eagleston,  had  been  fishing  for  biche  de  mar.  He  had  left 
his  long  biche  de  mar  house:,  which  was  deserted,  but  contrary  to  the 
custom  of  persons  in  this  business,  had  not  been  destroyed.  A  large 
quantity  of  wood  was  found  near  it,  which  Captain  Hudson  supplied 
himself  from.  This  was  the  only  house  in  the  valley,  but  there  are 
several  towns  along  this  part  of  the  coast,  though  it  has  not  the  ap- 
pearance of  being  densely  inhabited  ;  and  the  natives,  who  are  usually 
found  following  a  vessel,  seemed  all  to  have  vanished.  Paddy  Connel, 
who  was  with  the  boats  that  landed,  showed  himself  a  true  Feejee 
man  on  the  occasion,  for  finding  the  officers  were  desirous  of  having 
communication  with  the  natives,  he  ascended  one  of  the  hills,  and 
kept  up  a  continuous  hallooing  in  such  a  variety  of  voices  that  those 
who  were  left  on  the  beach,  believed  that  at  whole  host  was  coming 
down ;  but  he  did  not  succeed  in  bringing  a:ny  to  the  shore. 

The  30th  and  31st  they  continued  beating  up  to  the  windwai'd.  On 
the  latter  day,  in  getting  under  way,  William  Dunbar  (seaman)  had 
the  misfortune  to  have  his  hand  caught  in  the  chain-nipper,  which 
crushed  several  of  his  fingers  so  much,  that  amputation  of  them 
became  necessary. 

On  the  30th,  they  anchored  off  the  town  of  Tabooa,  to  the  north- 
ward and  eastward  of  the  island  of  Votia.  Off  this  island  is  a  passage 
through  the  sea-reef,  which  I  have  called  the  Ba  Passage. 

On  the  1st  of  June,  they  reached  Dongaloa,  where  they  had  some 
communication  with  the  natives.     They  were  very  shy,  which  Paddy 

VOL.  III.  ^^  27 

210  MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA. 

said  was  owing  to  some  ill  conduct  on  their  part.  After  a  while  a 
few  were  induced  to  venture  near,  and  were  much  pleased  at  having 
their  faces  and  noses  daubed  with  vermilion.  They  belonged  to  the 
town  of  Dongaloa,  and  gave  the  name  of  their  chief  as  Aleokalou. 
They  said  they  were  mbati  to  the  king  of  Ambau,  being  obliged  to 
furnish  him  with  fighting  men.  Paddy  said  they  spoke  a  different 
dialect  from  that  of  either  Ambau  or  Ra.*  Jn  looks  they  did  not 
differ  from  the  natives  of  other  parts  of  the  island.  There  were  one 
or  two  Tonga  vitis  seen,  but  Mr.  Hale  found  they  did  not  understand 
a  word  of  their  paternal  language. 

The  country  in  this  vicinity  so  far  changes  its  aspect,  that  the  high- 
lands approach  nearer  the  shore,  and  level  ground  is  only  to  be  seen 
in  narrow  and  contracted  valleys.  Little  appearance  of  cultivation  is 
to  be  seen,  proving,  conclusively,  that  there  are  but  few  people  in  this 

On  the  2d  of  June,  they  reached  and  landed  on  the  island  of  Ma- 
laki,  which  is  a  high  islet.  Malaki  is  divided  from  the  large  island  by 
a  narrow  strait,  near  which  is  the  town  of  Rake-rake,  which  is  also 
subject  to  Ambau.  A  few  young  native  boys,  one  of  whom  was  the 
chief  of  Rake-rake's  son,  were  looking  for  shell-fish  on  the  rocks,  and 
were  at  first  very  timid,  but  were  induced  to  approach.  Being  treated 
well,  their  fears  subsided  and  they  became  communicative. 

The  island  of  Malaki  had  once  a  large  fishing  town  on  it,  and  its 
inhabitants  w^ere  compelled  to  send,  yearly,  a  number  of  turtles  to 
Tanoa  at  Ambau.  Unfortunately  for  them,  they  one  day  ate  one  of 
the  turtles  they  had  caught.  This  soon  reached  the  ears  of  Tanoa 
and  the  other  Ambau  chiefs,  and  was  considered  so  high  a  crime 
that  orders  were  immediately  given  for  an  expedition  to  be  prepared 
against  them.  On  the  war-party  reaching  Malaki,  they  put  to  death 
every  man  and  woman  on  the  island,  and  carried  off  the  children 
captive.  Jt  is  said  that  they  returned  to  Ambau  with  some  of  the  little 
ones  suspended  to  the  masts  and  sails  of  their  canoes  ;  and  it  is  further 
alleged,  that  the  rest  were  kept  for  the  rising  generation,  to  exercise 
them  in  the  art  of  killing  !  However  extraordinary  these  circum- 
stances may  appear,  I  can  readily  believe,  from  the  knowledge  I  have 
of  the  people,  that  far  greater  atrocities  than  even  these  are  occasion- 
ally practised. 

Malaki  has  the  appearance  of  having  once  been  well  cultivated, 
and  there  are  a  number  of  terraced  taro-patches  of  great  extent, 
which  had  been  erected  with  great  care,  but  are  now  entirely  de- 

*  Ra  is  the  name  given  to  the  eastern  end  of  Vitilevu. 

M  B  U  A    E  A  Y    A  N  D    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A.  211 

serted.  This  island  is  eight  hundred  feet  high,  and  on  the  top  are 
the  remains  of  a  fortification  of  stone,  whose  walls  are  four  feet  high, 
surrounded  by  a  moat  several  feet  deep,  and  ten  feet  wide.  From 
this  height  the  passages  through  the  reefs  were  very  distinctly  seen, 
and  could  be  traced  for  a  long  distance.  On  presents  being  dis- 
tributed to  all  the  natives  who  were  present,  it  was  amusing  to  see 
the  young  son  of  a  chief,  according  to  the  custom  of  his  country, 
very  deliberately  taking  possession  of  the  whole,  and  rolling  them  up 
in  his  maro. 

On  the  3d,  they  were  still  beating  up  for  the  Malaki  Passage,  and 
were  in  hopes  of  being  able  to  pass  out  of  it ;  but  the  wind  being 
ahead,  it  was  found  too  narrow  to  beat  through.  After  sustaining  two 
sharp  thumps,  it  was  deemed  advisable  to  return  and  await  a  more 
favourable  opportunity.  Some  of  the  officers  again  landed  on  a  small 
island  of  much  less  height  than  Malaki,  but  nothing  interesting  was 
found.  It  had  evidently  been  inhabited,  from  the  overgrown  and 
deserted  plantations  which  were  every  where  to  be  seen.  The  island 
was,  for  the  most  part,  covered  with  a  sweet-scented  grass,  (Andro- 
pogon  schcEnanthus.) 

They  had  now  been  seven  days  upon  this  coast,  with  the  wind 
blowing  directly  along  it,  and  had  only  made  about  fifty  miles.  This 
channel  through  the  reefs  must  always  be  fatiguing  and  wearing  to 
both  vessel  and  crew.  For  the  whole  distance  they  found  the  bottom  a 
white  clay,  and  the  depth  of  water  varying  from  five  to  twenty  fathoms. 
As  they  approached  the  windward  side  of  the  island,  they  found  the 
weather  to  become  more  rainy,  and  the  winds  much  stronger. 

On  the  5th,  at  daylight,  they  passed  out  of  the  reef  and  stood  over 
for  Mbua  or  Sandalwood  Bay.  The  weather  during  the  day  set  in 
stormy,  so  much  so  as  to  make  their  situation  not  only  unpleasant 
but  dangerous,  in  consequence  of  the  many  reefs  by  which  they  were 
surrounded,  and  which  they  had  to  pass  through  before  reaching  their 
destination.  These  reefs  on  the  shores  of  Vanua-levu,  in  the  most 
favourable  times,  are  dangerous,  but  particularly  so  in  thick  and 
stormy  weather.  Fortunately,  when  near  the  passage,  they  were 
able  to  see  the  land  for  a  short  time,  and  soon  after  reached  their 
destination  in  safety. 

In  passing  into  the  bay  they  discovered  the  buoy  I  had  left  for 
Captain  Hudson,  with  the  despatches  enclosed  in  a  bottle,  and  had  it 
brought  on  board. 

Lieutenant  Underwood  joined  them  soon  after,  and  set  out  the  next 
morning  with  the  ship's  rudder-pintles  for  Captain  Belcher.  Captain 
Hudson  then  sent  a  boat  to  the  town  for  the  king  or  one  of  the  princi- 

212  MBUA    BAY    AND    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A. 

pal  chiefs,  which  brought  oif  Tui  Mora,  the  son  of  Tui  Mbua,  from 
whom  he  learned  that  the  whole  district  was  in  a  state  of  civil  war, 
and  had  been  so  for  the  last  year ;  that  all  their  towns  were  barrica- 
doed  and  their  canoes  broken  up.  This  was  an  unforeseen  event, 
putting  a  stop  to  the  plans  we  had  entertained  of  getting  a  chief  to 
accompany  the  surveying  party  to  the  Asaua  Group.  On  no  conside- 
ration would  Tui  Mora  leave  his  district,  nor  had  he  any  one  to  send. 
Captain  Hudson,  under  these  circumstances,  after  talking  to  the  chief, 
determined,  in  the  first  place,  to  effect  a  peace,  to  which  he  found  this 
chief  favourably  disposed. 

He  was  desired  to  send  a  message  to  the  town  of  the  old  chief  Tui 
Mbua,  which  was  but  a  few  miles  off,  in  order  to  ask  him  to  come  on 
board.  He  at  once  said  the  king  was  absent  at  the  Bay  of  Naloa, 
where  the  ship  Leonidas  was  fishing.  The  distance  thither,  he  said, 
was  ten  miles  by  land,  and  thirty  by  water,  and  no  one's  life  would  be 
safe  in  going  there,  as  they  would  have  to  pass  several  of  the  enemy's 
towns,  and  must  certainly  be  killed.  On  being  asked  to  send  a  canoe, 
he  said  they  had  none,  and  if  they  had  had  any,  it  would  be  impossible 
to  reach  the  desired  point,  for  it  would  be  captured  and  the  men  killed. 

Captain  Hudson  at  once  determined  to  proceed  himself  to  the 
Leonidas,  and  bring  the  old  king  back  with  him,  retaining  Tui  Mora 
on  board  in  the  mean  time.  Accordingly,  he  left  the  ship  at  noon,  and 
reached  the  Leonidas  after  dark.  Tui  Mbua  was  at  once  sent  for  and 
proper  explanations  being  made  to  him  respecting  the  object  in  view, 
to  restore  peace,  he  readily  consented  to  accompany  Captain  Hudson 
back  to  the  ship.  They  set  out  near  midnight,  and  reached  the  Pea- 
cock by  eight  o'clock  the  next  morning. 

The  tw^o  rival  chiefs  were  kept  out  of  sight  of  each  other,  until  they 
had  been  made  to  understand  the  object  in  view.  When  brought 
together  they  were  soon  reconciled,  and  every  thing  amicably 
arranged :  they  shook  hands  and  solemnly  promised  to  forget  all  that 
had  passed.  They  could  not,  however,  help  passing  an  occasional 
accusation  against  each  other,  as  having  been  the  cause  of  the  war. 
Messengers  were  immediately  despatched  by  both  to  their  respective 
towns,  to  proclaim  peace,  and  with  orders  to  the  people  to  put  aside 
their  preparations  for  war,  and  to  plant  and  cultivate  their  taro  and 
yam  grounds.  This  was  an  end  worthy  of  the  exertions  that  Captain 
Hudson  had  made  to  secure  it. 

The  rules  and  regulations  that  had  been  signed  by  the  chiefs  of 
Ambau  and  Rewa  were  now  explained  to  both  parties,  by  sections. 
To  all  of  these  they  agreed,  saying  they  were  glad  to  enter  into  them, 
and  that  they  should  be  strictly  observed  by  their  people. 

MBUA    BAY    AND    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A.  213 

After  all  this  business  was  finished,  a  feast  was  given  to  the  king 
and  chiefs.  At  this  they  took  a  particular  fancy  to  the  wine,  of  which 
they  seemed  inordinately  fond.  Presents  were  then  made  to  them, 
consisting  of  brass  kettles,  shawls,  hatchets,  pipes,  tobacco,  plane-irons, 
and  small  looking-glasses. 

Old  Tui  Mbua  readily  agreed  to  accompany  the  boats  to  the  Asaua 
Group,  shov/ing  thereby  great  confidence  on  his  part,  and  an  intention 
to  be  at  peace,  by  leaving  his  people  at  the  time  certainly  liable  to 
many  contingencies,  which  it  was  impossible  for  us  to  guard  against, 
from  the  treachery  of  those  with  whom  he  had  been  at  war.  He, 
however,  left  an  old  chief,  called  Raritona,  his  counsellor,  to  act  for 
him  during  his  absence. 

During  the  time  occupied  in  the  arrangement  of  these  affairs,  the 
first  and  second  cutters  were  prepared  for  an  expedition  to  the  Asaua 
Cluster.  Of  this.  Lieutenant  Emmons,  with  Passed  Midshipman 
Blunt,  were  placed  in  charge,  with  his  majesty  for  a  pilot,  and  two 
white  men  as  interpreters.  Tui  Mora,  who  was  quite  an  intelligent 
young  man,  remained  on  board,  with  several  of  his  chiefs.  Divine 
service  was  performed,  at  which  they  were  present,  and  behaved  with 
great  decorum  and  propriety.  They  all,  including  the  old  king,  ex- 
pressed a  great  desire  to  have  missionaries  settle  among  them,  and  said 
they  would  take  good  care  of  them,  believing  that  they  would  put  an 
end  to  their  wars ;  for  "  where  missionaries  lived  there  were  no  wars." 

This  kind  of  talk  is  very  common  among  the  Feejee  chiefs,  for 
deceit  is  a  part  of  their  national  character.  They  are  very  quick  in 
discerning  what  will  please  those  whom  they  wish  to  conciliate, 
and  readily  accede  to  their  views.  That  this  was  the  case  with  these 
people,  there  can  be  but  little  doubt ;  for,  as  far  as  my  experience 
goes,  the  Feejee  character  is  entirely  at  variance  with  the  ideas 
they  expressed.  They  have  imbibed  these  notions  from  the  whites, 
which  will,  in  time,  however,  do  good,  because  they  believe  that 
what  the  whites  possess  is  better  than  that  belonging  to  the  dark- 
coloured  race.  They  may  thus  become  fixed,  and  rendered  really 
desirous  of  obtaining  the  residence  of  those  who  are  not  only 
the  pioneers  of  religion,  but  of  civilization  also,  in  the  islands  of 

On  the  8th  June,  Captain  Hudson  set  about  the  survey  of  Sandal 
wood  Bay.  He  then,  with  the  naturalists  and  many  of  the  officers, 
visited  the  shore.  There  are  three  rivers  that  flow  into  the  bay  ;  the 
middle  one  of  these  they  entered.  It  has  two  entrances  for  boats.  It 
is  bordered  on  each  side  by  extensive  mud-flats,  which  are  bare  at 
low  water  for  a  considei'able  distance.     Parts  of  these  flats  are  covered 

214  MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA. 

by  thick  mangrove-bushes,  among  which  many  women  and  children 
were  seen  catching  a  large  kind  of  crab,  whilst  flocks  of  paroquets 
were  flying  around  them.  This  river  is  about  two  hundred  feet  wide, 
and  very  tortuous. 

The  town,  named  Vaturua,  is  situated  about  a  mile  up  the  river. 
The  entrance  to  it  is  through  a  hollow  way,  to  pass  through  which  it 
was  almost  necessary  to  creep. 

They  were  warned  of  their  approach  to  it  by  the  chattering  of  the 
women  and  children,  who  were  assembled  in  numbers  to  greet  their 
arrival.  The  village  is  about  two  hundred  yards  from  the  bank  of 
the  river ;  it  is  surrounded  with  palisades  of  cocoa-nut  trees  and  other 
timber,  and  a  ditch,  with  gates,  &c.,  very  much  on  the  same  plan 
as  that  observed  by  us  at  Moa  on  the  island  of  Tongataboo.  It  con- 
tains fifty  or  sixty  houses,  among  which  are  several  mbures.  In  some 
of  their  houses  graves  were  observed,  which  the  natives  said  were 
placed  there  to  protect  them  from  their  neighbours.  They  seemed 
the  most  good-natured  set  we  had  yet  met  with,  and  appeared  quite 
familiar  with  the  whites.  This  was,  however,  to  have  been  expected ; 
for  their  intercourse  with  foreigners  has  been,  until  recently,  more 
frequent  than  that  of  any  other  part  of  the  group.  It  is  here  that  so 
large  a  quantity  of  sandalwood  has  been  shipped. 

It  was   said  that  the  chief,  Tui   Mora,  had  even  made  the  people 
.break  up  their  canoes  for  the  purpose  of  constructing  the  palisades  to 
fortify  the  village,  and  thus  at  the  same  time  to  prevent  his  people  from 
deserting  to  his  enemy. 

On  their  landing  they  saw  an  albino,  who  had  the  features  of  his 
countrymen,  although  he  resembled  the  lower  class  of  Irish,  so  much 
so  that  the  sailors  jocosely  remarked  that  a  blunder  had  been  com- 
mitted by  his  having  been  born  in  a  wrong  country.  His  skin  was  a 
dirty  white,  and  fairer  than  that  of  an  European  would  be  if  exposed  to 
the  sun ;  he  was  marked  with  many  brown  spots,  about  the  size  of  a 
sixpence  or  less  ;  his  hair  was  of  the  same  colour  as  that  of  the  natives 
who  use  lime-water  for  cleaning  it ;  his  eyebrows  and  eyelashes  were 
of  a  flaxen  colour ;  his  eyes  were  almost  constantly  closed,  as  if  the 
light  affected  them ;  the  iris  was  blue,  with  no  tinge  of  red.  On  a 
subsequent  visit  he  had  dyed  his  hair  a  coal-black,  which  gave  him  an 
odd  and  ludicrous  appearance.  The  natives  called  him  Areea.  He 
was  about  thirty  years  of  age. 

The  white  men  say  that  albinos  are  not  unfrequently  seen.  I  saw  a 
man  who  was  partially  so,  having  an  appearance  as  if  he  had  been 
scalded  about  the  face  and  upper  part  of  his  body.  Dr.  Pickering  sug- 
gests that  it  is  not  improbable  that  the  white  individuals  reported  to 


have  been  seen  among  the  inhabitants  of  New  Guinea  may  have  been 
of  this  description. 

About  one-fourth  of  a  mile  from  Vaturua  is  another  town,  called 
Matainole,  which  also  belongs  to  Tui  Mora,  and  is  in  all  respects 
similar  to  the  other.  Betv^een  the  two  towns  is  a  kind  of  causeway, 
of  some  width,  built  by  the  natives,  by  throwing  the  earth  up  from  each 
side.  The  paths  wind  along  it,  and  on  each  side  are  extensive  taro- 
patches,  which  were  flooded.  Mangroves  abound  here,  while  the 
drier  grounds  are  covered  with  plantations  of  bananas  and  cocoa-nut 

On  the  way  from  Vaturua  to  Matainole,  a  piece  of  consecrated 
ground  was  passed,  on  which  were  mounds  of  stone,  with  a  rude  idol, 
dressed  with  a  turban  and  the  Feejee  hair-pins.  The  idol  was  sur- 
rounded by  clubs  set  up  edgewise,  and  many  spears,  arrows,  trinkets, 
cocoa-nuts,  &c.,  lay  around,  which  had  evidently  been  placed  there  as 
offerings.  A  large  party  of  natives,  who  were  with  our  gentlemen,  on 
seeing  them  approach  it,  deserted,  excepting  a  man  and  boy,  who,  con- 
trary to  the  others,  seemed  anxious  for  them  to  partake  of  the  offerings 
which  lay  about,  and  offered  to  sell  the  idol,  which  was  bought  for  a 
paper  of  vermilion.  Neither  of  them,  however,  could  be  tempted  to 
touch  a  single  article  himself,  although  they  had  no  objection  to  our 
gentlemen  doing  so.  On  the  next  day,  Mr.  Peale  returning  from  his 
jaunt,  took  his  purchase  and  carried  it  on  board. 

Tui  Mora  attended  to  the  disposal  of  the  different  articles  that  were 
brought  for  sale,  consisting  principally  of  taro,  yams,  fruit  (shaddocks, 
bananas,  lemons,  and  cocoa-nuts),  but  not  a  pig  was  to  be  seen  of  any 
size ;  in  fact,  these  people  had  but  little  food  to  spare. 

The  houses  are  by  no  means  as  substantial  as  those  at  the  principal 
towns  of  Ambau  and  Rewa ;  their  framework  is  much  smaller,  and 
the  eaves  extend  to  the  ground.  Both  the  walls  and  roof  are  of  reeds, 

The  chiefs  of  the  Mbua  district  are  not  considered  as  belon^inff  to 
the  nobility  of  the  islands,  but  to  the  class  kai-si ;  it  is  only  since  the 
whites  have  frequented  the  islands,  that  this  place  has  become  of  any 
note.  Formerly  Rawaike,  Tui  Mora's  father,  the  Tui  Mbua,  or  lord 
of  Mbua,  governed  the  whole  district,  which  comprises  the  coast 
from  Buia  Point  to  beyond  Naloa  on  the  north  shore,  or  about  one- 
sixth  of  the  island  of  Vanua-levu,  and  is  next  to  that  of  Nandi  on  the 
west,  although  there  are  two  or  three  independent  towns  between  them 
near  Buia  P  int. 

In  1809,  when  Mr.  Vanderford,  who  was  master's  mate  on  board 
the  Vincennes,  was  there,  Rawaike  was  very  powerful,  and  exercised 

216  M  B  U  A    BAY    AND    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A. 

rule  over  nearly  the  whole  island.  The  bay  of  Sandalwood  was  then 
thickly  populated,  and  appeared  to  enjoy  much  political  consideration 
in  the  group.  Since  the  accession  of  the  present  Tui  Mbua,  Makatu, 
its  authority  is  very  much  decreased,  and  it  now  is  of  scarcely  any 
consideration  at  all.  Makatu  was  born  in  the  district  of  Nandi,  but 
was  a  vasu  of  Mbua,  and  managed,  when  Rawaike  died,  to  be  chosen 
king.  Since  that  time  they  have  had  continual  civil  wars,  in  which 
many  of  the  people  have  been  killed,  while  others  have  sought  a  diffe- 
rent abode.  This  last  war,  to  which  Captain  Hudson  put  a  momentary 
cessation,  had  lasted  more  than  five  months,  during  which  time  they 
had  killed  upwards  of  fifty  of  the  enemy,  and  lost  about  thirty  of  their 
ow^n  men.  Among  the  reasons  assigned  for  not  coming  to  terms  long 
before  was  "  the  fear  of  being  clubbed  by  the  opposite  party  through 

One  of  the  surveying  boats,  with  Passed  Midshipman  Blunt,  re- 
turned from  the  island  of  Yendua,  with  James  Strahan,  seaman,  be- 
longing to  the  Vincennes,  who  had  fallen  from  a  tree  while  cutting  a 
sprit,  and  broken  his  leg.  The  boat  was  again  despatched,  with  an 
extra  quantity  of  provisions,  to  make  up  for  that  consumed  by  the  de- 
lay the  accident  had  occasioned. 

On  the  9th,  many  natives  were  on  board,  and  gave  an  exhibition  of 
a  war-dance  (dimba)  on  deck :  many  of  the  officers  thought  it  bore  a 
striking  resemblance  to  the  war-dance  of  New  Zealand.  The  per- 
formers held  a  paddle  in  one  hand,  while  with  the  other  they  struck 
their  thighs,  keeping  time  to  a  song  from  the  whole.  They  moved 
slowly  forward  and  backward,  in  a  bending  postui^e.  On  the  finishing 
of  the  chorus  they  stopped  simultaneously  and  stood  upright,  the  leader 
repeating,  in  a  hurried  loud  tone,  a  short  recitative,  which  the  rest 
answered  by  their  usual  guttural  shout,  huh!  huh!  huh!  flourishing 
their  paddles  in  the  air  in  great  excitement. 

On  the  10th,  Mr.  Spieden,  purser  of  the  Peacock,  visited  the  shore 
for  the  purpose  of  purchasing  provisions,  and  notice  was  given  that  all 
the  produce  they  would  bring  would  be  purchased.  In  consequence 
of  this  the  natives  brought  a  quantity  of  yams,  taro,  papaws,  shaddocks, 
lemons,  &c.,  together  with  an  abundance  of  crabs,  of  which,  all  that 
the  boat  could  carry  were  purchased.  Hatchets,  knives,  plane-irons, 
scissors,  beads,  fish-hooks,  looking-glasses,  red  cloth,  and  red  paint 
were  given  in  return,  of  which  the  two  latter  articles  were  preferred. 
As  Mr.  Spieden  was  not  able  to  carry  away  all  they  had  collected, 
their  expectations  of  a  market  were  not  realized,  and  they  threw  the 
remainder  into  the  river,  saying  they  had  been  told,  "  the  white  men 
never  told  lies,  but  they  now  saw  they  had  two  faces." 

M  B  U  A    B  A  Y    A  N  D    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A.  217 

In  the  afternoon  Captain  Hudson  got  under  way,  allhough  nearly  all 
the  officers  and  men  were  still  at  work  on  the  survey,  and  anchored 
the  ship  off  the  northern  point  of  Mbua  Bay.  This  point  is  called 
Dimba-dimba,  and  is  considered  by  the  natives  as  sacred  ground ;  it 
is  kept  strictly  from  any  kind  of  disturbance,  for  it  is  supposed  to  be 
inhabited  by  the  spirits  of  the  departed,  and  to  be  the  place  where  they 
embark  for  the  regions  of  Ndengei.  It  is  a  most  beautiful  spot,  and  in 
strong  contrast  with  the  surrounding  country,  which  is  in  many  places 
devoid  of  trees,  while  here  they  flourish  as  nature  has  planted  them. 
The  ground  gradually  rises  from  the  shore  for  a  short  distance,  then 
succeed  abrupt  precipices,  of  forty  or  fifty  feet  in  height ;  and  the 
land,  as  it  recedes  from  the  water,  forms  a  kind  of  hanging  garden,  on 
which  is  seen  a  beautiful  growth  of  large  forest-trees,  with  here  and 
there  clumps  of  shrubbery  of  the  tropical  climates,  which  give  it  a 
peculiar  aspect.  The  quiet  and  hallowed  appearance  was  well  cal- 
culated to  keep  up  the  impression  that  their  priests  have  made  upon 

On  the  11th,  the  Peacock  again  got  under  way,  and  passed  along 
between  the  shore  and  reefs.  Here  large  schools  of  fish  were  passed 
through,  apparently  of  two  kinds,  a  small  and  larger  one,  of  which  the 
former  leaped  entirely  out  of  the  water. 

By  the  persuasion  of  the  pilot.  Captain  Hudson  was  induced  to 
attempt  an  outer  passage,  that  the  pilot  thought  existed  round  the  island 
of  Anganga ;  but  after  getting  on  coral  knolls  twice,  Captain  Hudson 
returned  to  the  inshore  channel,  leading  towards  Ruke-ruke  Bay,  which 
is  the  next  beyond  Mbua. 

There  is  a  high  and  insulated  peak  north  of  Dimba-dimba  Point, 
which  has  a  town  perched  on  its  very  top. 

The  bay  of  Ruke-ruke  has  a  reef  across  its  mouth,  leaving  only  a 
narrow  ship-channel  into  it.  They  anchored  under  Ivaca  Peak,  a  high 
and  bold  bluff,  whose  height,  by  triangulation,  is  one  thousand  five 
hundred  and  sixty-three  feet.  On  its  top  is  also  a  town.  The  island 
of  Anganga  is  immediately  opposite  to  this  peak.  To  the  passage 
between  them  Captain  Hudson  proposed  to  give  the  name  of  Monkey- 
Face  Passage,  in  consequence  of  one  of  the  rocks  having  a  remarkable 
resemblance  to  the  face  of  that  animal. 

They  visited  the  village  of  Wailea,  now  containing  only  fifty  persons. 
A  few  years  since  most  of  the  former  inhabitants  were  exterminated 
by  the  warriors  of  Ambau,  who  frequently  make  excursions  thus  far. 

On  the  12th,  they  were  under  way  at  an  early  hour,  and  soon  after 
passed  the  rock  where  Captain  Dillon's  adventure  occurred.  Captain 
Eagleston,  of  the  Leonidas,  came  on  board,  and  piloted  them  to  Naloa 

218  MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA 

Bay.  The  Leonidas  saluted  the  Peacock  with  nine  guns,  which  it 
was  regretted  could  not  be  returned  except  by  cheers,  for  the  chro- 
nometers forbade  all  unnecessary  firing.  To  Captain  Eagleston  the 
squadron  is  much  indebted,  and  it  affords  me  great  pleasure  to  make 
my  acknowledgments  to  him  for  his  attentions  and  assistance  ren- 
dered the  service  we  were  upon.  I  am  also  indebted  to  him  for  some 
observations  relative  to  the  gales  that  have  occurred  among  these 
islands,  which  will  be  spoken  of  in  another  place. 

Captain  Eagleston  was  engaged  in  taking  the  biche  de  mar,  some- 
times known  as  the  sea-slug.  The  animal  belongs  to  the  genus 
Holothuria,  and  the  prepared  article  finds  a  ready  sale  in  the  China 
market,  where  it  is  used  as  an  ingredient  in  rich  soups.  Of  the  biche 
de  mar  there  are  several  kinds,  some  of  which  are  much  superior  in 
quality  to  the  others;  they  are  distinguishable  both  by  shape  and 
colour,  but  more  particularly  by  the  latter.  One  of  the  inferior  kinds 
is  slender  and  of  a  dark  brown  colour,  soft  to  the  touch,  and  leaves  a 
red  stain  on  the  hands ;  another  is  of  a  gray  colour  and  speckled ;  a 
third  is  large  and  dark  yellow,  with  a  rough  skin  and  tubercles  on 
its  sides. 

The  second  kind  is  often  eaten  raw  by  the  natives. 

The  valuable  sorts  are  six  in  number:  one  of  a  dark  red  colour;  a 
second  is  black,  from  two  inches  to  nine  inches  in  length,  and  its 
surface,  when  cured,  resembles  crape  ;  a  third  kind  is  large  and  of  a 
dark  gray  colour,  which,  when  cured,  becomes  a  dirty  white ;  the 
fourth  resembles  the  third,  except  in  colour,  which  is  a  dark  brown ; 
the  fifth  variety  is  of  a  dirty  white  colour,  with  tubercles  on  its  sides, 
and  retains  its  colour  when  cured ;  the  sixth  is  red,  prickly,  and  of  a 
different  shape  and  larger  size  than  the  others ;  when  cured,  it  becomes 

The  most  esteemed  kinds  are  found  on  the  reefs,  in  water  from  one 
to  two  fathoms  in  depth,  where  they  are  caught  by  diving.  The  infe- 
rior sorts  are  found  on  reefs  which  are  dry,  or  nearly  so,  at  low  water, 
where  they  are  picked  up  by  the  natives.  The  natives  also  fish  the 
biche  de  mar,  on  rocky  coral  bottom,  by  the  light  of  the  moon  or  of 
torches,  for  the  animals  keep  themselves  drawn  up  in  holes  in  the  sand 
or  rocks  by  day,  and  come  forth  by  night  to  feed,  when  they  may  be 
taken  in  great  quantities.  The  motions  of  the  animal  resemble  those 
of  a  caterpillar,  and  it  feeds  by  suction,  drawing  in  with  its  food  much 
fine  coral  and  some  small  shells. 

Captain  Eagleston  stated  that  the  biche  de  mar  is  found  in  greatest 
abundance  on  reefs  composed  of  a  mixture  of  sand  and  coral.  The 
animal  is  rare  on  the  southern  side  of  any  of  the  islands,  and  the  most 

MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA.  219 

lucrative  fisheries  are  on  the  northern  side,  particularly  on  that  of 
Vanua-levu,  between  Anganga  and  Druau.  In  this  place,  the  most 
frequent  kind  is  that  which  resembles  crape.  In  some  places  the 
animal  multiplies  very  fast,  but  there  are  others  where,  although  ten 
years  have  elapsed  since  they  were  last  fished,  none  are  yet  to  be 

The  biche  de  mar  requires  a  large  building  to  dry  it  in.  That 
erected  by  Captain  Eagleston,  on  the  island  of  Tavea,  is  eighty-five 
feet  long,  about  fifteen  or  twenty  feet  wide,  and  nearly  as  much  in 
height.  The  roof  has  a  double  pitch,  falling  on  each  side  of  the  ridge 
to  eaves  which  are  about  five  feet  from  the  ground.  The  roof  is  well 
thatched,  and  ought  to  be  perfectly  water-tight.  There  are  usually 
three  doors,  one  at  each  end,  and  one  in  the  middle  of  one  of  the  sides. 
Throughout  the  whole  length  of  the  building  is  a  row  of  double  staging, 
called  batters,  on  which  reeds  are  laid. 

On  the  construction  of  this  staging  much  of  the  success  of  the  busi- 
ness depends.  It  ought  to  be  supported  on  firm  posts,  to  which  the 
string-pieces  should  be  well  secured  by  lashing.  The  lower  batter  is 
about  four  feet  from  the  ground,  and  the  upper  from  two  to  three  feet 
above  it.  Their  breadth  is  from  twelve  to  fourteen  feet.  Upon  the 
large  reeds  with  which  the  batters  are  covered  is  laid  the  "  fish 
fence,"  which  is  made  by  weaving  or  tying  small  cords  together. 
This  is  composed  of  many  pieces,  the  height  of  each  of  which  is  equal 
to  the  breadth  of  the  batter. 

A  trench  is  dug  under  the  whole  length  of  the  batters,  in  which  a 
slow  fire  is  kept  up  by  natives,  under  the  direction  of  one  of  the  mates 
of  the  vessel.  The  earth  from  the  trench  is  thrown  against  the  sides 
of  the  house,  which  are  at  least  two  or  three  feet  from  the  nearest 
batter,  in  order  to  prevent  accident  from  fire.  This  is  liable  to  occur, 
not  only  from  carelessness,  but  from  design  on  the  part  of  the  natives. 
As  a  further  precaution,  barrels  filled  with  water  are  placed  about 
eight  feet  apart  along  both  sides  of  the  batters. 

After  the  house  has  been  in  use  for  about  a  week,  it  becomes  very 
liable  to  take  fire,  in  consequence  of  the  drying  and  breaking  of  the 
material  used  in  the  lashings.  In  this  case  it  is  hardly  possible  to 
save  any  part  of  the  building  or  its  contents.  To  prevent  the  falling 
of  the  stages  by  the  breaking  of  the  lashings,  fresh  pieces  of  cordage 
are  always  kept  at  hand  to  replace  those  which  are  charred,  and  show 
signs  of  becoming  weak.  A  constant  watch  must  be  kept  up  night 
and  day,  and  it  requires  about  fifteen  hands  to  do  the  ordinary  work 
of  a  house. 

The  fires  are  usually  extinguished  once  in  twenty-four  hours,  and 

220  M  B  U  A    BAY    AND    M  U  T  II  U  A  T  A. 

the  time  chosen  for  this  purpose  is  at  daylight.  The  fish  are  now 
removed  from  the  lower  to  the  upper  batter,  and  a  fresh  supply  intro- 
duced in  their  place.  This  operation,  in  consequence  of  the  heat  of 
the  batter,  is  hard  and  laborious,  and  fifty  or  sixty  natives  are  usually 
employed  in  it. 

Fire-wood  is  of  course  an  important  article  in  this  process,  each 
picul  of  biche  de  mar  requiring  about  half  a  cord  to  cure  it.  This 
fuel  is  purchased  from  the  chiefs,  who  agree  to  furnish  a  certain 
quantity  for  a  stipulated  compensation.  As  much  as  twenty  cords 
are  sometimes  bought  for  a  single  musket.  In  carrying  on  the  drying, 
it  is  important  that  the  doors  be  kept  shut  while  the  fires  are  burning. 
Much  also  depends  upon  the  location  of  the  house,  whose  length  should 
be  at  right-angles  to  the  course  of  the  prevailing  winds.  The  batters 
also  should  be  nearest  to  the  lee-side  of  the  house. 

Before  beginning  the  fishery,  the  services  of  some  chief  are  secured, 
who  undertakes  to  cause  the  house  to  be  built,  and  sets  his  dependants 
at  work  to  fish  the  biche  de  mar.  The  price  is  usually  a  whale's 
tooth  for  a  hogshead  of  the  animals,  just  as  they  are  taken  on  the  reef. 
It  is  also  bought  with  muskets,  powder,  balls,  vermilion,  paint,  axes, 
hatchets,  beads,  knives,  scissors,  chisels,  plane-irons,  gouges,  fish- 
hooks, small  glasses,  flints,  cotton  cloths,  chests,  trunks,  &c.  Of 
beads,  in  assorted  colours,  the  blue  are  preferred,  and  cotton  cloth  of 
the  same  colour  is  most  in  demand.  For  one  musket,  a  cask  contain- 
ing from  one  hundred  and  thirty  to  one  hundred  and  sixty  gallons,  has 
been  filled  ten  times.  When  the  animals  are  brought  on  shore,  they 
are  measured  into  bins,  where  they  remain  until  the  next  day. 

These  bins  are  formed  by  digging  a  trench  in  the  ground,  about  two 
feet  in  depth,  and  working  up  the  sides  with  cocoa-nut  logs  until  they 
are  large  enough  to  contain  forty  or  fifty  hogsheads.  If  the  fishery  is 
successful,  two  of  these  may  be  needed. 

Near  the  bins  are  placed  the  trade-house  and  trade-stand.  In  the 
first  the  articles  with  which  the  fish  is  purchased  are  kept,  and  in  the 
second,  the  officer  in  charge  of  them  sits,  attended  by  a  trusty  and 
watchful  seaman.  The  stand  is  elevated,  so  that  the  persons  in  it  may 
have  an  opportunity  of  seeing  all  that  is  taking  place  around  them. 
All  the  fish  are  thrown  into  the  bin  before  they  are  paid  for. 

In  these  bins  the  fish  undergo  the  operations  of  draining  and  purg- 
ing, or  ejecting  their  entrails.  These,  in  some  of  the  species,  resemble 
pills,  in  others  look  like  worms,  and  are  as  long  as  the  animals  them- 

The  larger  kinds  are  then  cut  along  the  belly  for  a  length  of  three 
or  four  inches,  which  makes  them  cure  more  rapidly,  but  care  must  be 






1\    \ 

.    I 



M  B  U  A    B  A  Y    A  N  D    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A,  221 

taken  to  avoid  cutting  too  deep,  as  this  would  cause  the  fish  to  spread 
open,  which  would  diminish  its  value  in  the  market. 

When  taken  out  of  the  bins  and  cut,  the  fish  are  thrown  into  the 
boilers,  which  are  large  pots,  of  which  each  establishment  has  five  or 
six.  These  pots  have  the  form  of  sugar-boilers,  with  broad  rims,  and 
contain  from  one  hundred  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  gallons. 

They  are  built  in  a  row,  in  rude  walls  of  stone  and  mud,  about  two 
feet  apart,  and  have  suflicient  space  beneath  them  for  a  large  fire. 
The  workmen  stand  on  the  walls  to  fill  and  empty  the  pots,  and  have 
within  reach  a  platform,  on  which  the  fish  is  put  after  it  has  been 

It  requires  two  men  to  attend  each  pot,  who  relieve  each  other,  so 
that  the  work  may  go  on  night  and  day.  They  are  provided  with 
skimmers  and  ladles,  as  well  as  fire-hooks,  hoes,  and  shovels. 

No  water  is  put  into  the  pots,  for  the  fish  yield  moisture  enough  to 
prevent  burning. 

The  boiling  occupies  from  twenty-five  to  fifty  minutes,  and  the  fish 
remains  about  an  hour  on  the  platform  to  drain,  after  which  it  is 
taken  to  the  house,  and  laid  to  a  depth  of  four  inches  upon  the  lower 
batter.  Thence  at  the  end  of  twenty-four  hours  it  is  removed,  as  has 
been  stated,  to  the  upper  batter,  where  it  is  thoroughly  dried  in  the 
course  of  three  or  four  days.  Before  it  is  taken  on  board  ship,  it  is 
carefully  picked,  when  the  damp  pieces  are  separated,  to  be  returned 
to  the  batter.  It  is  stowed  in  bulk,  and  when  fit  for  that  purpose 
should  be  as  hard  and  dry  as  chips.  Great  care  must  be  taken  to  pre- 
serve it  from  moisture. 

In  the  process  of  drying,  it  loses  two-thirds  both  of  its  weight  and 
bulk,  and  w^hen  cured  resembles  a  smoked  sausage.  In  this  state  it  is 
sold  by  the  picul,  which  brings  from  fifteen  to  twenty-five  dollars. 

Captain  Eagleston  had  collected,  in  the  course  of  seven  months,  and 
at  a  trifling  expense,  a  cargo  of  twelve  hundred  piculs,  worth  about 

The  outfit  for  such  a  voyage  is  small,  but  the  risk  to  be  incurred  is 
of  some  moment,  as  no  insurance  can  be  effected  on  vessels  bound  to 
the  Feejee  Group,  and  it  requires  no  small  activity  and  enterprise  to 
conduct  this  trade.  A  thorough  knowledge  of  the  native  character  is 
essential  to  success,  and  it  requires  all  possible  vigilance  on  the  part  of 
the  captain  of  the  vessel  to  prevent  surprise,  and  the  greatest  caution 
to  avoid  difficulties.  Even  with  the  exercise  of  these  qualities,  he  may 
often  find  himself  and  his  crew  in  perilous  positions. 

In  order  to  lessen  the  dangers  as  much  as  possible,  no  large  canoes 
are  ever  allowed  to  remain  alongside  the  vessel,  and  a  chief  of  high 

222  MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA. 

rank  is  generally  kept  on  board  as  a  hostage.     When  these  precau- 
tions have  not  been  taken,  accidents  have  frequently  happened. 

The  biche  de  mar  is  sometimes  carried  to  Canton,  but  more  usually 
to  Manilla,  whence  it  is  shipped  to  China.* 

The  bay  of  Naloa  is  a  v^^ide  opening,  protected  on  the  north  by  tvi^o 
or  three  small  islets,  some  of  which  are  inhabited.  One  of  them  has 
been  bought  by  the  Lasikaus  or  fishermen,  who  gave  Tui  Mbua  three 
hundred  whales'  teeth  for  it.  It  is  not  long  since  they  settled  on  it, 
having  been  driven  from  their  former  location  by  the  war-parties  of 
the  Ambau  people,  and  taken  refuge  here. 

Their  town,  Tavea,  although  of  recent  date,  is  already  enveloped 
in  a  banana  grove.  The  growth  of  these  trees  is  well  adapted  for  the 
purposes  of  the  natives,  and  they  seldom  fail  to  plant  them  as  soon  as 
they  begin  to  build,  and  by  the  time  their  houses  are  finished  and 
occupied,  they  already  yield  shade  for  the  planters  to  retire  to  in  the 
heat  of  the  day.  The  employment  of  fishing  is  considered  one  of  the 
most  honourable  among  the  natives. 

Veraki,  the  chief  of  Tavea,  has  the  reputation  among  the  whites  of 
being  "  a  hearty  old  cock  and  a  great  rascal." 

On  another  of  these  islets,  which  is  uninhabited,  Captain  Eagleston 
has  his  biche  de  mar  house.  The  town  of  Votua  on  Vanua-levu  has 
been  the  residence  of  Tui  Mbua,  since  he  was  driven  or  expelled 
from  Mbua  Bay. 

Captain  Hudson  was  desirous  of  obtaining  both  wood  and  water, 
and  made  arrangements  accordingly  for  their  being  brought  off  by 
the  natives.  This  he  succeeded  in  doing,  because  the  chiefs  are 
very  willing  that  their  subjects  should  work,  when  they  have  all  the 
profit  of  their  labour.  The  natives  here  were  very  friendly,  and  the 
chief  desirous  of  serving  us. 

The  town  of  Votua  lies  about  a  mile  from  the  shore.  It  contains 
about  fifty  buildings,  including  temples,  houses,  and  yam-houses,  which 

*  In  order  to  show  the  profits  which  arise  from  the  trade  in  biche  de  mar,  I  give  the 
cost  and  returns  of  five  cargoes,  obtained  by  Captain  Eagleston  in  the  Feejee  Group 
These  he  obhgingly  favoured  me  with. 




1st  voyage        . 




2d      » 




3d      " 

.       1,080 



4th    " 




5th    " 

.       1,200 



A  further  profit  also  arises  from  the  investment  of  the  proceeds  in  Canton,  Captain 
Eagleston  also  obtained  4,488  pounds  of  tortoise-shell,  at  a  cost  of  $5,700,  which  sold  in  the 
Unitea  States  for  $29,050  net. 

MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTIIUATA.  223 

are  all  built  after  the  plan  of  those  at  Mbua  Bay;  the  rafters  being 
planted  in  the  ground,  and  curved  towards  the  ridge-pole,  which  is 
supported  from  within.  The  rafters  are  about  one  foot  apart,  and  are 
covered  with  reeds,  upon  which  the  thatching  is  laid. 

The  chief's  house  was  situated  on  a  small  square,  on  the  opposite 
side  of  which  were  two  temples,  and  between  them  was  a  kind  of  war- 
trophy,  consisting  of  five  of  the  large  earthen  jars  used  for  cooking 
human  flesh,  placed  in  a  row.  Beside  each  of  these,  some  spears 
and  clubs  were  firmly  planted  in  the  ground,  crossing  each  other  at 
the  top,  about  three  feet  from  the  ground ;  on  these  a  basket  was 
suspended,  and  long  strips  of  masi  or  tapa  were  wreathed  about  and 
hung  upon  them.  These  five  jars  proved  to  be  the  vessels  in  which 
five  of  their  enemies,  whom  they  had  killed  in  battle  about  two 
months  before,  had  been  cooked  ;  the  baskets  were  those  which  haa 
been  used  at  the  feast  to  convey  the  food  about  to  the  cannibal  eaters ; 
the  masi,  spears,  and  war-clubs  were  those  belonging  to  the  slain. 
At  a  Httle  distance  there  was  another  pot,  in  which  a  chief  had  been 
boiled,  and  behind  these  again  was  a  basalt  column,*  serving  as  a 
sepulchral  monument  to  one  of  their  own  chiefs.  The  top  of  the 
latter  was  tied  around  with  rolls  of  masi,  and  was  surrounded  by  his 
spears,  clubs,  &c.  There  w^ere  a  number  of  other  columns  lying 
about,  all  of  which  were  taken  from  the  same  basaltic  quarry  between 
the  landing  and  the  village.  These  columns  are  very  distinct  and 

The  river  that  runs  up  near  the  village  may  be  entered  by  boats, 
ascending  through  the  mangroves  some  three  or  four  miles,  and  has 
very  much  the  character  of  those  emptying  into  Mbua  Bay.  The 
river  above  the  town  is  about  seventy  yards  wide,  and  there  has  been 
a  bridge  over  it,  of  which  there  are,  even  now,  remains.  The  bridge 
appears  to  have  been  built  on  piles  made  of  cocoa-nut  trees,  of  which 
there  is  still  a  single  row  left,  supported  by  stakes  on  each  side. 

Some  of  our  gentlemen,  in  their  wanderings  under  the  guidance  of 
the  natives,  were  desired  to  come  close  to  them,  as  a  party  was 
approaching ;  and  shortly  afterwards,  a  troop  of  native  women  and 
children  were  seen  moving  along  in  single  file,  some  of  them  labour- 
ing under  excessive  loads.  The  women,  in  fact,  are  their  beasts  of 
burden,  and  are  every  where  considered  as  an  article  of  trade.  Many 
of  the  natives  were  seen  with  gunshot  wounds,  received  in  the  late 
war.  Word  was  brought  in  that  a  native  of  another  village  had  been 
killed,  which  created  but  little  excitement. 

*  These  stones  they  call  sava. 

226  MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA. 

ever,  consented  to  come  on  board,  the  next  morning.  The  ship  was 
prepared  for  the  visit,  the  quarter-deck  being  dressed  with  flags,  and 
every  thing  ready  for  his  reception.  At  noon  the  liing  sent  off  word 
that  he  was  sick,  the  spirit  had  struck  him,  and  that  he  was  afraid 
to  come  on  board ;  but  that  if  Captain  Hudson  would  send  an  officer 
to  remain  on  shore  as  a  hostage,  while  he  visited  the  ship,  he  would 
come.  Immediately  Passed  Midshipman  Reynolds  and  Midshipman 
Hudson  (the  captain's  son)  were  sent  on  shore;  notwithstanding 
which,  the  old  king  was  not  inclined  to  venture.  One  only  of  the 
principal,  with  a  few  of  the  inferior  chiefs,  visited  the  ship :  they  all 
seemed  uneasy  and  fearful,  when  they  first  came  on  board ;  but,  on 
being  kindly  treated  and  shown  around,  they  soon  regained  their  self- 
possession.  They  were  feasted  and  received  some  presents,  and  left 
the  ship  apparently  well  pleased  with  their  visit.  When  they  reached 
the  shore,  the  officers  who  were  there  as  hostages  returned. 

The  land  on  this  part  of  the  coast  rises  abruptly  from  the  water  in 
volcanic  peaks,  to  the  height  of  two  thousand  feet  and  upwards. 

Lieutenant  Emmons  reached  the  Peacock  on  his  return  from  the 
examination  of  the  Asaua  Group.  As  I  shall  shortly  have  to  speak 
of  the  second  examination  of  this  group,  I  will  postpone  the  subject 
till  then ;  but  I  feel  it  my  duty  to  speak  of  the  satisfactory  manner  in 

MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTHUATA.  227 

which  this  officer  had  performed  his  duty,  and  the  energy  and  strict- 
ness with  which  both  himself  and  his  assistant,  Passed  Midshipman 
Blunt,  carried  out  the  service  they  were  charged  with. 

On  the  22d,  the  Leonidas  went  to  Malitu,  twenty-five  miles  to  the 
eastward,  where  the  chief  Gingi  was  erecting  a  biche  de  mar  house 
for  Captain  Eagleston.  The  same  day  two  divisions  of  boats,  the  one 
under  Lieutenant  Walker  and  Midshipman  Blair,  the  other  under 
Lieutenant  Budd,  Passed  Midshipman  Reynolds,  and  Midshipman 
Hudson,  started  on  surveying  duty,  the  one  to  the  eastward,  the  other 
westward  from  Kie  Island,  off  Muthuata,  on  the  north  side  of  Vanua- 

On  the  same  day  the  old  king  of  Muthuata  sent  off"  to  Captain 
Hudson  a  present  of  eight  turtles  as  a  propitiation.  Communication 
was  now  had  with  the  town  of  Muthuata.  It  consists  of  about  one 
hundred  houses,  built  closely  together,  and  is  situated  in  an  open 
valley  close  to  high-water  mark.  It  is  very  much  exposed  and  quite 
defenceless ;  has  but  few  trees  about  it,  but  is  one  of  the  best-built 
towns  in  the  Feejees.     The  style  of  building  resembles  that  of  Rewa. 

The  king's  name  is  Ndrandranda ;  his  title,  Tui  Muthuata.  He  is 
old  and  quite  infirm,  the  result  of  an  attack  of  elephantiasis  in  one 
of  his  legs,  which  renders  it  difficult  for  him  to  walk.  His  expression 
of  countenance  is  mild.  As  is  usual,  he  is  surrounded  by  his  wives. 
The  head  one  of  these,  whose  title  is  "  Yandi  Muthuata,"  is  one  of 
the  largest  women,  if  not  the  very  largest,  in  the  Feejees.  She  is 
upwards  of  six  feet  high,  very  stout,  and  seems  to  understand  her  own 

The  second  wife,  called  Henrietta,  was  a  native  of  Rotuma,  and 
spoke  a  little  Enghsh.  She  had,  while  at  her  native  island,  been 
married  to  a  Tahitian,  who  was  residing  there,  and  had  gone  with 
him  to  Tahiti.  Thence,  wishing  to  return  to  Rotuma,  they  had  taken 
passage  with  Captain  Eagleston,  about  five  years  before  we  saw  her. 
On  reaching  Muthuata,  they  were  induced  to  land  and  remain  with 
some  of  her  countrymen,  of  whom  they  found  many  at  this  place. 
Unfortunately,  the  king  saw  and  took  a  liking  to  her,  and,  to  remove 
all  obstacles,  killed  and  ate  her  husband,  and  compelled  her  to  become 
his  wife. 

Henrietta  is  of  a  fair  complexion  and  good-looking.  In  other 
respects  she  cannot  be  distinguished  from  the  Feejee  women ;  for  her 
hair,  which  on  her  arrival  was  straight  and  black,  has,  by  frizzling, 
twisting,  and  colouring,  become  like  that  of  the  natives  of  these  islands. 
She  is  discontented  with  her  position,  and  anxious  to  escape,  which, 
however,  she  finds  impossible. 



The  third  wife  is  a  Feejee  woman,  who  is  not  regarded  by  the  king 
with  as  much  favour  as  the  others. 

Each  of  these  wives  has  a  separate  house,  and  the  king  spends  his 
time  in  lounging  aUernately  in  them  during  the  greater  part  of  the  day. 
These  visits  constitute  the  great  business  of  his  hfe. 


Of  these  three  royal  ladies,  Yandi  Muthuata  was  the  favourite  with 
the  officers  of  the  squadron.  She  always  received  them  courteously, 
and  would,  on  their  entrance,  immediately  lay  aside  such  household 
occupations  as  she  and  her  women  were  generally  found  engaged  in, 
for  the  purpose  of  attending  to  and  conversing  with  them. 

Henrietta,  on  the  other  hand,  was  occasionally  found  in  ill-humour, 
which,  however,  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  when  we  consider  her 

On  the  beach  at  Muthuata  were  two  fine  and  large  canoes,  one  of 
which  belonged  to  the  king,  the  other  to  his  son. 

Tui  Muthuata  has  from  eighty  to  one  hundred  towns  under  his 
control;  and  his  territory  extends  from  Unda  Point  to  the  island  of 
Tavea,  in  Naloa  Bay.  Many  of  these  towns  are  of  small  extent,  and 
contain  but  few  inhabitants ;  and  I  found  that  to  estimate  the  population 
by  the  report  of  the  chiefs  themselves,  would  give  erroneous  results. 
Feejee  men  lie  with  great  plausibility,  and  particularly  if  it  is  to  swell 
their  own  importance. 

After  receiving  the  king's  present,  Captain  Hudson,  understanding 
that  they  were  still  under  alarm  on  shore,  sent  word  again  to  the  king 
that  he  had  nothing  to  fear,  that  they  were  friends,  and  again  invited 
him  to  come  on  board.  This  message  had  a  good  effect,  although  he 
refused  to  come,  on  account  of  his  sickness  from  his  leg.  Whether 
this  sickness  was  brought  on  by  his  fears,  was  not  determined  ;  but  he 
despatched  his  son,  Ko-Mbiti,  and  several  chiefs ;  an  officer — Passed 
Midshipman  Davis — remaining  on  shore  to  satisfy  them  that  no  advan- 

MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTIIUATA.  229 

tage  was  intended  to  be  taken  of  so  many  being  in  our  power.  Ko- 
Mbiti  is  a  very  good-looking,  well-made  man,  but  appeared  near-sighted. 
He  had  a  large  retinue  with  him.  It  was  amusing  to  see  the  effect 
produced  on  him  by  placing  a  pair  of  concave  spectacles  on  his  nose, 
and  his  wonder  and  astonishment  at  the  change  they  produced  in  his 

The  chiefs  stayed  several  hours  on  board,  visited  every  part  of  the 
ship,  partook  of  refreshments,  and  received  presents,  every  thing  being 
done  on  the  part  of  Captain  Hudson  to  give  confidence,  produce  good- 
will, and  create  a  good  understanding. 

It  was  known  that  the  chief  Gingi  was  in  town  to-day,  but  as  there 
was  no  positive  evidence  of  his  having  been  concerned  in  the  murder, 
it  was  deemed  more  prudent  to  make  no  attempt  for  his  capture,  par- 
ticularly as  it  would  at  once  destroy  the  prospect  of  the  good  under- 
standing which  was  being  brought  about,  and  which  was  necessary 
for  the  prosecution  of  our  duties,  as  well  as  for  the  safety  of  future 

The  invitation  to  visit  the  ship  being  extended  to  the  royal  ladies, 
the  queen,  her  daughter  (the  betrothed  wife  of  old  Tanoa  of  Ambau), 
and  three  lesser  wives,  with  two  of  the  king's  sons,  came  on  board,  on 
the  23d.  When  her  majesty  arrived  on  board,  she  presented  Captain 
Hudson  with  a  black  pig.  These  ladies  were  so  much  pleased  with 
the  attention  shown  them,  that  they  remained  six  hours.  They  ate, 
drank  whiskey  and  water,  and  smoked  cigars,  of  which  they  are  ex- 
tremely fond,  looked  all  over  the  ship,  examining  the  prints,  drawings 
of  birds,  &c.,  and  seemed  delighted. 

There  was  a  circumstance  that  occurred  during  this  visit  that  will 
serve  to  show  the  Feejee  artfulness  in  a  strong  light.  While  they 
were  engaged  in  looking  at  the  engravings  in  the  cabin,  the  queen 
spoke  in  rather  an  authoritative  tone  to  the  rest,  when  they  all,  from 
seeming  inattention,  became  very  attentive,  and  showed  marks  of  plea- 
sure. Captain  Hudson,  thinking  that  they  had  seen  something  that  par- 
ticularly delighted  them,  was  desirous  of  knowing  what  was  the  cause  ; 
but  not  observing  any  thing  that  could  account  for  this  burst  of  enthu- 
siasm, he  inquired  of  the  interpreter  what  the  queen  had  said,  who  told 
him  she  had  remarked  to  them,  "  Why  don't  you  seem  pleased  !  why 
don't  you  laugh !" 

Captain  Hudson  having  effected  a  friendly  understanding  with  the 
king,  went  on  shore  on  the  24th,  with  as  many  of  his  officers  as  could 
be  spared  from  duty,  to  hold  an  audience  with  the  king  and  his  chiefs, 
at  which  the  rules  and  regulations  were  adopted  by  them,  after  being 
fully  explained.     He  then  made  "k  demand  for  the  murderers  of  Cun- 

230  MBUA    BAY    AND    MUTIIUATA. 

ningham;  for  whom  the  king  engaged  to  send  messengers,  and  to  give 
them  up  if  they  should  be  found.  Afterwards  an  appropriate  present 
was  made  to  him,  in  return  for  his  turtles,  &c. 

From  this  time  the  natives  became  reconciled,  and  much  intercourse 
was  had  with  them.  It  was  found  that  the  head  queen  was  the  prin- 
cipal adviser  of  Tui  Muthuata,  and  that  in  all  his  difficulties  her  judg- 
ment rules  the  state.  She  seemed  entirely  devoted  to  him,  bestowed 
much  care  and  attention  in  the  selection  of  his  food,  and  in  every  way 
endeavoured  to  please  him. 

Near  the  landing  there  is  a  large  turtle-pen,  in  which  the  king's 
turtles  are  kept,  of  which  some  weigh  three  hundred  pounds.  The 
pens*  are  three  in  number,  each  of  which  contains  a  dozen.  Both 
kinds  are  caught,  hawksbill  and  green  turtle.  The  former  is  con- 
sidered the  most  valuable  on  account  of  its  shell,  and  they  are  indis- 
criminately used  for  eating.  Both  are  caught  in  large  quantities  on  the 
islands  in  the  season,  and  form  a  principal  part  of  the  food  of  chiefs, 
but  the  lower  class  are  not  allowed  to  partake  of  them.  It  was  said 
they  were  preparing  for  a  large  feast,  to  be  given  shortly. 

The  ship  was  again  visited  by  a  large  number  of  the  wives  of  the 
chief,  nearly  all  of  whom  were  in  a  state  of  nudity ;  yet  they  behaved 
themselves  well  and  modestly.  A  feast  was  prepared  for  them,  for  if 
this  were  neglected,  it  would  be  considered  an  unpardonable  oversight. 
They  did  not  manage  very  well  in  sitting  at  table  or  using  the  knife 
and  fork.  Their  attack  on  the  eatables,  and  the  quantity  they  devoured, 
showed  not  only  appetite,  but  great  capacity  of  stomach.  The  knife 
and  fork  was  too  slow  a  process  for  them,  and  their  use  was  soon  dis- 
pensed with  for  that  of  the  fingers. 

During  their  visit,  a  native  was  detected  stealing  a  hatchet.  This 
was  the  first  theft  committed  on  board  the  Peacock  since  being  in  the 
group.  The  king's  son,  who  was  on  board  at  the  time,  v/anted  to  club 
the  thief  on  shore  and  roast  him,  but  Captain  Hudson  thought  it  was 
better  for  him  to  settle  the  business  himself,  and  accordingly  punished 
him  at  the  gangway,  and  gave  orders  that  he  should  not  be  admitted 
on  board  again. 

There  are  in  Muthuata  a  greater  number  of  light-coloured  Feejee 
men  than  are  elsewhere  to  be  met  with.  They  are  generally  half- 
caste,  and  this  mixture  has  arisen  from  their  intercourse  with  the  Ro- 
tuma  Islanders,  of  whom  they  are  very  fond. 

Mr.  Hale  succeeded  in  getting  permission  to  disinter  some  skeletons 
on  the  island  of  Muthuata,  which  lies  immediately  off  the  town.     Thi^ 

*  The  pens  are  shallow  pit?,  within  the  flow  of  the  tide,  and  surrounded  with  stakes. 

kaloLi.  uiiiio,    iiicy  si 

n    V.  !MV.-:    \-v  i: 



%:«^^>iK^!Mi&i^^i^Sfr^^b^^  ?-js&^^.}0atx0af!nuij^K:>m^  '""M-M-* 




M  B  U  A    B  A  Y    A  N  D    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A.  231 

island  not  only  protects  the  harbour  from  the  north  wind,  but  adds 
much  to  its  beauty  by  its  high  and  luxuriant  ap- 
pearance. It  is  a  little  over  a  mile  in  length.  It 
appears  to  have  been  for  a  long  time  a  burial- 
place  for  both  chiefs  and  common  people.  The 
graves  are  scattered  in  groups  along  the  shore, 
those  of  the  chiefs  being  apart  from  the  rest,  and 
distinguished  by  having  small  houses  built  over 
them,  from  two  to  six  feet  high.  The  fronts  of 
these  houses  were  of  a  kind  of  lattice-work,  formed 


of  braided  sennit,  of  which  the  cut  will  give  an 
idea.  These  houses  were  entirely  vacant.  Before  some  of  them 
spears  or  poles  were  crossed  in  the  form  of  an  X ;  before  others  a  slick 
was  planted  in  the  ground,  with  its  top  tied  around  with  sennit;  near 
others  were  long  pieces  of  tapa,  suspended  from  poles,  with  clubs, 
spears,  and  a  canoe,  laid  beside  them.  The  natives  said  that  the 
deposit  of  these  articles  was  (soro  soro  ni  kai  viti)  a  religious  cere- 

The  graves  of  the  common  people  (kai-si)  had  merely  stones  laid 
over  them.  On  the  natives  who  accompanied  Messrs.  Hale  and  Agate 
being  told  that  they  had  permission  to  take  a  skeleton,  which  they  call 
"  kalou  mate,"  they  showed  no  reluctance  whatever  to  assist,  and  took 
them  to  a  grave  where  they  said  two  Ambau  men  were  buried,  who 
had  died  from  eating  poisoned  fish.  Though  the  grave  was  not  deep, 
some  difficulty  was  experienced  in  removing  the  gravel  and  stones 
with  which  the  bodies  were  covered.  The  natives  were  playing  and 
making  sport  while  at  their  work,  and  seemed  at  a  loss  to  know  at 
which  end  to  look  for  the  head.  There  was  no  covering  found  on  the 
bodies,  which  had  been  laid  naked  in  the  grave ;  the  bones  were  clear 
of  flesh  and  whole,  but  were  brittle  and  decayed. 

On  the  27th,  they  had  a  visit  from  the  king's  son,  who  came  in  full 
costume,  with  his  long  seavo  pendent  both  from  before  and  behind, 
and  a  full  turban.  His  visit  was  for  the  purpose  of  obtaining  a  small 
pennant  that  was  making  for  his  canoe,  consisting  of  a  yard  or  two  of 
red  bunting  with  a  white  star  in  it.  With  this  he  went  off  in  great 
glee.  He  was  on  his  way  to  Somu-somu,  to  invite  the  chiefs  of  that 
place  to  the  feast  about  to  be  given  at  Muthuata. 

Captain  Hudson  was  now  informed  that  the  messengers   had   re- 
turned without  the  murderers.      The  report  they  brought  back  was 
that  they  had  fled  into  the  mountains,  and  joined  the  chiefs  there  for 
protection,  at  the  time  the  Peacock  passed  the  town.     This  was  not 
credited,  and  the  king  was  desired  to  make  another  attempt,  which  he 

232  M  B  U  A    BAY    AND    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A. 

did.  He  seemed  desirous  of  obtaining  the  murderers,  and  together 
with  the  chief  Gingi,  advised  that  the  town  to  which  they  belonged 
should  be  burnt,  although  all  the  other  inhabitants  were  innocent. 
This  Captain  Hudson  refused  to  do,  as  he  did  not  wish  to  punish  the 
innocent  for  the  guilty. 

Gingi  himself  was  suspected  of  having  had  a  hand  in  the  murder 
of  Cunningham.  Although  not  of  the  royal  blood,  he  has  much  influ- 
ence in  Muthuata,  and  is,  in  all  respects,  a  disreputable  character. 
He  has  four  houses,  which  are  the  best  in  the  tow'n,  and  are  occupied 
by  as  many  wives.  He  possesses  a  considerable  quantity  of  other 
property,  which  he  has  accumulated  from  his  earnings  in  the  biche 
de  mar  fishery.  He  does  not  hesitate  to  boast  of  his  savage  actions, 
and  to  reckon  up  a  dozen  men  whom  he  has  killed  with  his  own 
musket.  When  I  come  to  speak  of  the  Asaua  cluster  of  islands,  some 
of  his  wholesale  massacres  will  be  recorded.  In  these  encounters  he 
has  not  escaped  unscathed,  for  he  received  on  one  occasion  a  musket- 
ball,  which  entered  beneath  his  shoulder-blade  and  came  out  beneath 
the  nipple  of  his  breast.  Gingi  is  remarkable  for  the  energy  of  his 
character,  and  his  savage  disposition  when  offended. 

While  the  Peacock  lay  at  Muthuata,  the  naturalists  employed  them- 
selves in  excursions  to  the  mountains.  The  bright  tin  boxes  carried 
by  the  botanists  attracted  much  attention,  and  excited  no  little  alarm, 
for  a  report  had  got  abroad,  that  these  boxes  contained  our  "  fiery 
spirits."  In  consequence  of  this  idea,  when  one  of  these  gentlemen, 
after  his  return  from  an  excursion,  opened  his  box  for  the  purpose  of 
looking  at  the  plants  he  had  gathered,  there  was  a  general  outcry  and 
flight  among  the  younger  natives.  They  frequently  met  native  women 
in  their  walks,  who  seemed  very  much  amused  with  the  Papalangis, 
and  laughed  immoderately  at  the  shaking  of  hands,  which  some  were 
bold  enough  to  venture  upon.  Those  they  met  would,  if  alone  and 
carrying  any  thing,  throw  down  their  load  and  run  like  the  wind  to 

On  their  mountain  excursions,  they  were  accompanied  by  a  Rotuma 
man  who  spoke  English.  On  their  way  up,  as  they  were  about  to 
enter  a  hamlet,  he  advised  them  to  load  and  prepare  their  fire-arms, 
saying  that  the  people  of  the  mountain  did  not  like  those  of  the  coast, 
and  that  to  visit  them  was  dangerous.  It  did  not  prove  so,  however, 
on  this  occasion;  yet  the  advice  clearly  shows  that  a  state  of  hostility 
exists  between  those  who  five  in  the  mountains  and  those  on  the  coast. 
The  former  are  probably  those  who  have  escaped  punishment  for 
crimes,  or  from  the  cruelty  of  the  chiefs  on  the  coast,  and  who  fled  to 
the  mountains  for  safety. 

M  B  U  A    BAY    AND    M  U  T  H  U  A  T  A.  233 

The  excursion  to  the  top  of  the  peak  proved  very  interesting  to  our 
botanists,  whose  collections  were  increased  by  many  specimens,  among 
which  was  a  young  Kaurie  pine.  The  point  which  was  measured, 
was  two  thousand  feet  high ;  another  point,  which  was  inaccessible, 
was  about  three  hundred  and  fifty  feet  higher,  making  the  highest 
point  two  thousand  three  hundred  and  fifty  feet. 

The  party  witnessed  some  natives  who  were  employed  in  taking 
fish,  near  the  mouth  of  a  small  stream,  by  poisoning  the  water  with  the 
stems  and  leaves  of  a  climbing  Glycine,  which  grows  abundantly  near 
the  coast. 

They  had  ample  evidence  of  the  hostility  existing  among  these 
natives,  in  the  fear  exhibited  by  their  guides  when  occasionally  ap- 
proaching huts  on  their  rambles,  and  they  said  that  they  would  not 
have  dared  to  venture  among  the  mountaineers  except  in  company 
with  the  Papalangis. 

In  these  rambles  they  occasionally  visited  the  high  peaks,  and  when- 
ever they  had  a  view  of  the  interior,  a  number  of  high,  volcanic,  and 
many  of  them  sharp-pointed  peaks,  presented  themselves  to  the  eye. 

On  the  28th,  Passed  Midshipman  Harrison  arrived  in  the  schooner 
Kai-viti,  with  the  supply  of  yams,  and  my  orders  to  the  Peacock  to 
join  me  at  Mbua  Bay  on  the  4th  of  July. 

The  next  day  was  employed  in  getting  ready  to  sail.  Captain 
Pludson  had  employed  his  carpenters  in  getting  out  the  frame  of  a 
new  launch  of  the  iron-wood  (Casuarina) ;  but  subsequently,  at  the 
Sandwich  Islands,  we  found  that  it  was  ill-adapted  for  that  purpose, 
and  it  was  consequently  rejected. 

The  king  again  sent  off  word  that  his  messengers  had  returned  a 
second  time,  without  any  further  tidings  of  the  murderers  than  those 
they  had  first  brought. 

This  day,  Joseph  Baxter,  the  second  mate  of  the  Leonidas,  who  had 
been  badly  burnt  when  firing  a  cannon  on  board  the  Leonidas,  was 
brought  on  board  the  Peacock.  The  accident  was  caused  by  the 
ignition  of  a  cartridge  which  he  had  carelessly  put  into  his  bosom. 
Every  possible  attention  was  paid  to  him. 

The  natives  of  the  town  of  Muthuata  appeared  to  be  busily  engaged 
in  making  preparations  for  the  great  feast.  Hogs,  yams,  taro,  and 
turtles,  were  continually  brought  into  town,  and  it  was  said  that  the 
king  of  Muthuata  had  collected  a  hundred  hogs  and  ten  thousand 
yams.  In  anticipation  of  the  coming  feast,  all  articles  were  tabooed, 
and  none  could  be  purchased. 

The  women,  both  old  and  young,  were  daily  practising  their  dan- 
cing and  music,  and  preparing  turbans  and  masi  for  the  chiefs,  while 

VOL.  IIT.  U2  30 





3"  IfflB^i^ 




UroN  the  junction  of  the  Peacock  with  the  Vincennes  in  Mbua  Bay, 
I  had  it  in  my  power  to  examine  and  collate  all  the  work  that  we  had 
thus  far  accomplished.  After  doing  this,  I  found  that  so  much  yet 
remained  to  be  done  before  a  thorough  survey  of  the  Feejee  Group 
could  be  completed,  that  I  must  either  leave  this  important  duty 
unfinished,  or  devote  more  time  to  it  than  had  originally  been  con- 
templated. I  deemed  this  to  be  among  the  most  important  of  the 
objects  of  the  Expedition;  and  considering  that  the  seas  around  these 
islands  abound  in  dangers  whose  position  had  up  to  this  time  been 
entirely  unknown,  I  resolved  not  only  to  complete  the  surveys,  but  not 
to  leave  the  group  until  I  had  entirely  satisfied  myself  of  the  accuracy 
of  the  work. 

In  furtherance  of  the  last  object,  I  set  all  who  had  been  employed 
in  the  service  to  work  in  plotting  and  calculating  their  surveys,  while 
the  features  of  the  region  were  yet  fresh  in  their  memories.  This  duty 
occupied  several  days  after  my  arrival  at  Mbua  Bay,  and  was  per- 
formed without  any  loss  of  time  that  could  have  been  employed  in 
actual  surveying;  for  the  weather  was  bad,  in  consequence  of  a 
gale  from  the  southeast  that  lasted  four  days,  and  it  would  have  been 
impossible  to  work  in  the  open  air. 

In  consequence  of  our  protracted  stay,  it  became  necessary  to 
reduce  the  allowance  of  the  men's  provisions  one-third.  Orders  to 
this  effect  were,  in  consequence,  given.  The  men,  when  informed 
of  it,  readily  acquiesced,  and  I  heard  not  a  word  of  complaint. 

On  the  Oth,  Lieutenant  Alden,  in  the  tender,  returned  from  the 
Annan    Islands,   without    having    completed    all    the    duties    he    was 


240  T  Y  E    A  N  D    S  U  A  L  I  B. 

charged  with,  and  he  had  seen  nothing  of  the  shoal  he  had  before 
reported  to  me.  On  the  same  day  I  despatched  Lieutenant  Case  and 
Passed  Midshipman  Blunt,  in  the  second  cutter  of  the  Peacock, 
around  the  north  side  of  the  island  of  Vanua-levu,  for  the  purpose 
of  falling  in  with  the  schooner  Kai-viti,  Passed  Midshipman  Harrison, 
and  with  directions  to  proceed  with  her  to  Somu-somu,  and  there 
purchase  a  cargo  of  yams.  Lieutenant  Case  had  also  orders,  on  over- 
taking Lieutenant  Walker,  to  relieve  him,  and  to  continue  the  survey 
with  which  that  officer  was  charged,  as  far  as  Somu-somu,  after  which 
he  was  directed  to  return  by  the  south  side  of  the  island  of  Vanua- 
levu,  surveying  and  examining  the  harbours  as  he  went  along. 

The  Rev.  Mr.  Hunt  took  advantage  of  this  opportunity  to  return  to 
his  home.  Notwithstanding  it  was  raining  and  blowing  a  gale,  I  could 
not  delay  this  service  any  longer,  particularly  as  I  believed  that  the 
gale  would  moderate  before  the  cutter  would  reach  the  other  party, 
and  that,  as  they  would  pass  under  the  lee  of  the  shore,  they  would  not 
be  very  much  exposed  to  it.  Necessity  alone,  however,  would  have 
induced  me  to  despatch  a  party  in  such  weather. 

For  a  few  days,  at  this  time,  every  one  was  employed,  who  could 
work,  in  repairing  the  boats,  preparatory  to  the  further  examinations 
u'hich  I  contemplated  making  on  the  hourly-expected  arrival  of  the 

On  the  afternoon  of  the  12th,  Lieutenant  Perry  arrived  in  the  launch, 
bringinff  with  him  Mr.  Knox  and  the  crew  of  the  first  cutter.  That 
boat  had  been  captured  by  the  natives,  at  Sualib  Bay,  about  twenty- 
five  miles  to  windward,  on  the  same  island.  In  this  bay  the  launch 
and  first  cutter  had  taken  refuge  during  the  bad  weather,  although  it 
offers  indifferent  accommodation.  After  being  there  two  or  three  days, 
they  attempted  to  beat  out,  when  the  cutter,  in  trying  to  go  about,  near 
the  reef,  missed  stays  and  was  thrown  on  it.  At  the  time  this  occurred, 
it  was  low  water.  The  natives,  who,  it  was  supposed  by  the  party, 
had  anticipated  the  accident,  had  followed  along  the  reef,  and,  as  soon 
as  it  happened,  crowded  down,  all  well  armed  with  clubs,  spears, 
stones,  &c.  Mr.  Knox,  finding  it  impossible  to  get  the  boat  off,  thought 
of  looking  into  his  means  of  defence,  and  found  himself  completely  in 
the  power  of  the  natives,  for  all  his  arms  and  ammunition  were  soaked 
with  salt  water.  Lieutenant  Perry,  finding  that  the  launch  could  not 
make  headway  against  the  wind  and  sea,  had  anchored  at  long  gun- 
shot from  the  spot  where  the  cutter  had  gone  on  shore.  As  soon  as  he 
saw  what  was  going  forward,  he  opened  a  fire  on  the  natives,  but 
without  efiect ;  for  they,  notwithstanding,  collected  around  Mr.  Knox's 
party,  and  gave  them  to  understand  that  they  must  abandon  the  boat 

T  Y  E    A  N  D    S  U  A  L  1  B.  24 1 

and  go  on  board  the  launch.  Having  no  choice  left,  he  took  out  all 
the  arms  and  the  chronometers,  and,  keeping  the  natives  at  bay,  by 
pointing  the  guns  at  them  and  threats  of  killing  them,  the  crew  reached 
the  launch  in  safety.  The  natives  took  possession  of  the  first  cutter^ 
dragged  her  over  the  reef,  and  stripped  her  of  every  thing.  They  then 
appeared  to  be  eagerly  watching  the  launch,  at  which  they  occasion- 
ally fired  their  muskets,  with  which  they  are  better  provided  on  this 
island  than  elsewhere.  They  did  not  prove  good  marksmen,  how- 
ever, for  they  did  no  damage. 

Two  natives,  from  another  part  of  the  shore,  now  swam  ofl"  to  the 
launch,  with  offers  of  assistance  to  Lieutenant  Perry ;  but  he  supposed 
that  this  was  done  to  spy  out  his  weakness,  and  learn  how  to  take  ad- 
vantage of  it.  He,  therefore,  at  once  seized  and  retained  them.  They 
proved  to  be  a  great  chief  and  an  inferior  one.  After  he  had  obtained 
possession  of  these  men,  the  natives  on  shore  gave  him  no  further 
trouble,  but  remained  lurking  about  the  mangroves. 

The  next  morning,  the  weather  having  moderated,  he  was  enabled 
to  get  out  of  the  bay,  and  reached  the  ship  at  the  above  date. 

This  occurrence  was  another  cause  of  detention.  Immediately  on 
receiving  the  report,  I  ordered  the  two  prisoners  to  be  put  into  irons, 
and  the  schooner  and  eight  boats,  four  from  each  ship,  to  be  ready  for 
service  at  sunset.  Twenty  additional  men  and  officers  were  put  on 
board  the  tender.  Captain  Hudson  and  myself  both  accompanied  the 
party,  which  left  the  ships  at  the  appointed  time.  Our  first  ren- 
dezvous was  about  twelve  miles  from  the  ship,  and  it  was  my  in- 
tention to  reach  Sualib  by  daylight  the  next  morning.  We,  however, 
found  so  much  sea  on  the  outside  of  the  reefs,  from  the  late  gale,  that 
it  was  difficult  to  pull  against  it.  Tom  Granby,  of  whom  I  have  be- 
fore spoken,  took  an  oar  in  my  boat,  somewhat  reluctantly,  to  pull 
with  the  crew.  It  was  no  sinecure,  particularly  to  one  who  was  not 
accustomed  to  rowing,  and  Tom  soon  grew  weary,  as  became  quite 
apparent  to  me,  by  an  occasional  expression  of  fatigue,  which  an  oar 
twenty  feet  long  soon  brings  about.  After  a  hard  pull,  we  reached  the 
small  island,  and  I  immediately  ordered  the  few  boats'  crews  that  had 
arrived  to  get  what  rest  they  could  previous  to  the  arrival  of  the 
others.  My  own  tent  was  quickly  pitched  for  that  purpose,  and  all 
were  snugly  slumbering  in  a  short  time,  except  Tom,  whose  ill-humour 
would  not  allow  him  to  take  rest.  He  continued  grumbling  for  some 
time,  and,  finding  that  no  notice  was  taken  of  him,  allowed  his  mo- 
roseness  to  get  the  better  of  him.  His  complaints  became  so  loud  as 
to  keep  many  of  us  from  sleeping,  and  I  was  compelled  to  silence  him, 
by  threatening  to  tie  him  to  a  tree,  and  leave  him  there  until  our  re- 

VOL.  III.  V  31 


Few  things  were  found  in  the  town,  for  the  natives  had  removed  all 
the  articles  that  could  be  carried  away.  Three  or  four  weeks  of 
labour  would,  therefore,  suffice  to  rebuild  their  houses,  and  restore  them 
to  the  same  state  as  before  the  burning. 

There  was  no  opposition  made  to  this  attack ;  all  the  Feejee  men 
had  retired  out  of  gun-shot,  and  were  only  now  and  then  seen  from  be- 
hind the  bushes,  or  on  some  craggy  peak  on  the  sides  of  the  neighbour- 
ing hills,  from  which  they  were  occasionally  dislodged  by  our  rockets. 
This  firework  produced  consternation,  and  dispersed  them  in  every 
direction.  As  the  boats  were  pulling  off  from  the  shore,  a  few  balls 
fell  near  us,  but  did  no  damage. 

As  we  pulled  off,  the  launch  (Lieutenant  Perry)  was  just  seen  making 
her  appearance,  having  got  aground  in  the  passage  up,  and  lain  the 
whole  of  the  tide.  His  men  being  much  exhausted,  were  transferred 
to  the  tender,  and  others  put  in  their  stead.  We  then  all  set  out  for  the 
ships,  which  we  reached  a  little  before  midnight. 

The  infliction  of  this  punishment  I  deemed  necessary ;  it  was  effi- 
ciently and  promptly  done,  and,  without  the  sacrifice  of  any  lives, 
taught  these  savages  a  salutary  lesson. 

In  the  first  cutter  was  private  and  public  property  to  the  value  of 
over  one  thousand  dollars,  which  was  all  lost. 

By  reference  to  my  instructions,  it  will  be  seen  that  cases  of  theft 
were  expressly  mentioned  as  occasions  that  might  require  punishment 
to  be  inflicted  on  the  natives ;  yet  this  transaction  formed  the  gist  of 
one  of  the  charges  preferred  against  me  by  the  administration,  on  my 
return  to  the  United  States. 

The  conduct  of  the  officers  and  men  on  this  occasion  showed  a 
promptness  and  energy  that  were  highly  creditable,  and  gave  me  the 
assurance  that  they  were  as  much  to  be  depended  upon  in  dangers  of 
this  description,  as  I  had  hitherto  found  them  in  others. 

The  next  day  having  become  satisfied  that  the  Sualib  chiefs  who 
had  been  detained  by  Lieutenant  Perry  had  really  meant  to  act  a 
friendly  part,  I  determined,  for  the  purpose  of  making  the  contrast  as 
strong  as  possible  between  those  who  had  offered  aid  and  those  who 
had  stolen  the  cutter,  to  reward  the  former  for  their  good  intentions.* 

The  next  morning,  all  hands  were  called  on  deck,  and  the  prisoners 

*  It  must  be  borne  in  mind,  that  any  canoe  or  vessel,  whether  native  or  foreign,  when 
driven  on  shore,  is  accounted  an  offering  to  the  gods.  All  that  it  contains  is  considered  as 
belonging  to  the  chief  of  tlie  district  where  the  accident  happens,  and  the  people  on  board 
are  at  once  sacrificed.  The  opinion  I  formed  of  the  intentions  of  the  two  chiefs  who  swam 
off  to  Lieutenant  Perry,  was,  that  they  expepted  an  accident  to  occur  to  the  launch,  and 
being  with  her,  could  have  at  once  claimed  lier  as  their  own,  and  would  have  protected  the 
lives  of  those  on  board  from  the  multitude  by  the  aiithority  they  held  over  them. 



brought  to  the  gangway  in  irons,  expecting  that  their  time  was  now 
come,  and  exhibiting  great  fear,  both  in  their  countenances  and 
trembhng  Hmbs.  Through  David  Whippy,  I  then  told  them,  that 
although  appearances  were  at  first  against  them,  I  had  satisfied  myself 
that  they  intended  to  act  a  friendly  part  in  assisting  the  launch,  and  as 
they  had  taken  no  share  in  the  robbery  and  capture  of  the  boat,  and 
the  people  of  their  town  had  done  nothing  to  molest  us,  instead  of 
punishing  them,  I  should  reward  them  with  presents,  and  send  them 
back  safely  to  their  town.  The  joy  that  was  depicted  on  their  coun- 
tenances at  this  change  can  readily  be  imagined.  Their  irons  were 
then  removed,  and  the  presents  given. 

After  thanking  the  oiificers  and  men  for  their  good  conduct  in  this 
affair,  we  piped  down,  and  our  several  occupations  were  resumed. 

During  the  time  that  these  chiefs  were  prisoners  on  board,  a  chief 
of  this  bay,  who  called  himself  Tui  Mbua,  (after  the  old  chief  of  that 
name  who  has  already  been  spoken  of,)  came  on  board,  to  beg  that  he 
might  have  the  bodies  of  the  prisoner  chiefs  to  eat,  expecting  of 
course,  they  were  to  be  killed.  The  request  was  made  to  one  of  the 
oflScers,  (Mr.  Vanderford,)  who  had  been  in  this  place  before,  and 
who  spoke  the  Feejee  language.  It  is  said  that  such  a  request  is  con- 
sidered the  greatest  token  of  Feejee  friendship,  and  it  is  believed  that 
this  was  the  inducement  in  the  present  case. 

The  two  chiefs  remained  on  board  some  days,  in  consequence  of 
the  difficulty  of  sending  them  back,  for  the  boats  that  attempted  it 
were  obliged  to  return,  in  consequence  of  the  fresh  trade-wind  which 
was  blowing. 

They  afterwards  requested  permission  to  be  set  on  shore,  as  they 
would  prefer  going  home  by  land,  which  was  accordingly  done. 

During  their  stay  on  board,  many  of  their  customs  were  obtained 
from  them,  through  the  interpreter.  The  youngest,  as  I  have  before 
stated,  was  a  high  chief,  and  a  person  of  some  consequence,  and 
what  is  remarkable  for  a  Feejee  man,  was  fond  of  music.  He  sang, 
of  course,  in  the  manner  of  his  country.  From  him  Mr.  Drayton 
obtained  the  music,  and  through  the  interpreter,  the  words  of  the  song. 

The  character  of  the  music  is  the  same  as  that  heard  from  others. 
It  is  as  follows  : 


ku  -  la       ka    tan  -  gi    ta  -  ka  -  re 

An  -  dra  tha  - 



Se-ni-kun-dra  -  vi      sa-lu      sa  -  lu 

ma-ke-ve    va  -  ke. 


I  was  sleeping  in  the  Tambu-tangane, 

A  red  cock  crowed  near  the  house, 

I  woke  up  suddenly  and  cried, 

I  was  going  to  get  some  kundravi  flowers, 

For  a  wreath  in  the  harmonious  dance. 


(music  very  much  the  same.) 

Ne  avu  Rewa  tala  n'drondro  ni  singa  na  theva  theva, 

So  thangi  toka  ni  uthu  i  Rewa, 

Ma  kurea  no  a  sinu  kungera. 

Me  rathuru  salu  salu  nai  alewa 

Thuru  sinu  ka  umbeti  a  lemba, 

Ra  mbola  rua  kau  tombena. 

Ma  kerea  ko  yaudi  kau  serea, 

Andi  ko  a  luvata  ma  na  oru  lemba, 

Kau  viriani  ki  na  loya  leka. 

Ru  thakava  na  lemba  kau  thakava, 
Mera  ne  levu  mai  a  marama, 
Ta  a  lik'thuru  ki  na  thungiawa, 
Thundru  tiko  ko  tinai  Thangi-lemba, 
A  onda  meke  ka  suli  vakatrava, 
Katu  ni  votua  sa  mai  lala, 
Vuravaru  na  vanua  saurara, 
Ravuli  vuthura  tamu  rawataka, 
N  dromu  ndole  singa  ki  Muthuata. 


In  Rewa  a  fine  southerly  wind  was  blowing, 
The  wind  was  blowing  from  the  point  of  Rewa, 
And  it  shakes  down  the  flowers  of  the  sinu  tree. 
So  that  the  women  may  make  garlands. 
String  the  sinu,  and  cover  it  with  the  lemba  flowers. 
When  put  together  I  will  hang  it  on  my  neck. 
But  the  queen  begs  it  and  I  take  it  off; 
Queen  !  take  our  garland  of  lemba, 
I  throw  it  on  the  little  co'icli. 

TYE    AND    SUALIB.  247 

Take  ye  the  garland  that  I  have  been  making, 

That  the  ladies  may  make  a  great  noise  in  coming. 

Let  us  go  to  the  tliungiawa,  (a  house.) 

The  mother  of  Thangi-lemba  was  vexed, 

Why  did  you  give  away  our  dance  ? 

The  basket  of  dance-fees  is  empty. 

This  world  is  a  world  of  trouble. 

They  will  not  succeed  in  learning  to  dance, 

The  sun  goes  down  too  soon  in  Muthuata, 

The  music  of  the  Feejee  Islanders  is  more  rude  than  that  of  any 
people  we  have  had  communication  with  in  the  South  Seas.  The  men 
rarely  care  for  music,  nor  have  they  any  pleasure  in  musical  sounds. 
The  tones  of  the  violin,  acordion,  flute,  and  musical-box,  which  caused 
so  much  deljo-ht  amona:  other  islanders,  had  no  charms  for  them. 
Their  attention  is  seldom  riveted  by  these  instruments,  and  they  will 
walk  off"  insensible  to  the  sweetest  notes.  Mr.  Drayton  says  that  all 
their  attempts  at  singing  are  confined  to  the  major  key,  and  that  he 
does  not  recollect  to  have  heard  a  single  sound  in  the  minor. 

Although  the  Feejeeans  have  little  knowledge  of  musical  sounds,  and 
apparently  care  not  for  them,  yet  they  are  fond  of  verse-making,  and 
appreciate  the  difficulties  they  have  to  encounter  in  their  compositions, 
and  according  to  Mr.  Hale,  in  some  of  them  the  manner  of  rhyming 
is  peculiar  and  difficult,  as  they  are  obliged  to  confine  themselves 
throughout  the  stanzas  to  those  vowels  which  are  contained  in  the  two 
last  syllables  of  the  first  line  of  a  stanza.  For  further  information  I 
must  refer  the  reader  to  the  Philological  Report. 

The  men's  voices  in  speaking  are  generally  higher  than  those  of  the 
natives  of  the  other  groups,  but  some  of  them  speak  in  a  full  deep  tone. 
The  females  speak  in  a  higher  note  than  the  Samoans  or  Tongese ; 
their  voices  are  very  agreeable,  full  of  intonations  and  musical  force, 
giving  expression  to  every  thing  they  say. 

On  the  16th  of  July,  the  tender  and  boats  being  prepared,  I  ordered 
the  following  officers  upon  an  expedition:  Assistant-Surgeon  Fox, 
Acting-Master  Sinclair,  Passed  Midshipman  Eld,  and  Mr.  Agate,  to 
accompany  me  in  the  tender;  Lieutenant  Alden  and  Midshipman 
Henry  in  the  first,  and  Lieutenant  Underwood  in  the  second  cutter 
of  the  Vincennes  ;  Lieutenant  Emmons  and  Midshipman  Clark  in  the 
first  cutter  of  the  Peacock.  The  boats  being  fully  manned  and  armed, 
left  the  vessels  in  the  afternoon,  for  the  island  of  Anganga. 

Orders  were  left  with  Captain  Hudson  to  resurvey  the  Bay  of  Mbua, 
(for  I  was  not  satisfied  with  the  survey  that  had  been  made,)  including 
the  outlying  reef,  and  after  having  completed  this  duty,  to  proceed  with 
the  Peacock  round  to  Muthuata,  and  then  return  for  the  Vincennes.    It 

248  TYE    AND    SUALIB. 

was  my  intention  to  circumnavigate  the  whole  group  of  islands, 
carrying  meridian  distances  from  island  to  island,  and  likewise  to 
complete  and  connect  by  triangulation  all  the  parts  that  required 
further  examination.  I  proposed  to  return  to  Muthuata  by  the  north 
and  east  side  of  Vanua-levu. 

Having  satisfied  myself  with  observations  on  Lakemba  Point,  I  set 
out  in  the  tender  at  eight  o'clock  p.  m.,  in  order  to  join  the  boats  early 
the  next  morning  at  Anganga  Island,  about  thirty  miles  from  Mbua 
Bay.  The  night  was  beautiful,  and  with  a  light  air  the  tender  fanned 
along.  Tom  was  at  the  masthead,  but,  towards  morning,  being  some- 
what fatigued,  he  got  into  a  doze,  while  the  man  at  the  helm  believed 
that  Tom  would  take  care  of  the  vessel,  and  was  accustomed  to  run 
very  close  to  the  reef.  All  at  once  the  tender  brought  up  on  the  coral 
reef,  at  the  north  point  of  Ruke-ruke  Bay.  This  jarred  Tom  not  a 
little,  and  waked  him  up.  He  protested  most  strenuously  that  he  had 
not  been  asleep,  but  that  "  a  kind  of  blur  had  come  over  his  eyes." 
Notwithstanding  this  excuse,  I  gave  the  place  the  name  of  Sleepy 
Point,  in  commemoration  of  the  event.  No  damage  was  sustained  by 
the  tender.  We  proceeded  on,  and  at  6  a.  m.  we  anchored  near  the 
west  end  of  Anganga  Island,  where  the  boats  soon  after  joined  us. 
Finding  that  Lieutenant  Underwood  .had  carried  away  his  mast,  I 
despatched  him  back  to  the  ship  to  get  a  new  one,  and  directed  in- 
quiries to  be  made  relative  to  the  provisions  that  had  been  served  to 
the  boats'  crews.  Three  days'  allowance  had  been  put  on  board  each 
boat,  cooked,  which  the  next  morning  was  entirely  gone.  I  could  not 
bring  myself  to  the  belief  that  the  quantity  which  I  had  ordered  had 
been  put  on  board.  But  it  proved  to  be  the  case,  and  will  serve  to 
show  what  formidable  appetites  the  men  acquired  during  these  boat 

Lieutenant  Underwood  was  directed  to  join  me  at  Yendua,  an 
island  lying  to  the  southward  and  westward  of  Mbua  Bay.  After 
despatching  the  other  two  boats  to  examine  the  reef  outside  of 
Anganga,  I  landed  at  the  point  and  remained  on  shore  during  the 
day,  with  Passed  Midshipman  Eld,  making  observations  for  time  and 
latitude.  Dr.  Fox  and  Mr.  Agate  were  engaged  in  picking  up  shells 
and  plants,  and  the  latter  also  made  sketches.  Two  small  and 
beautiful  specimens  of  cyprasas  were  found  here  by  Dr.  Fox.  The 
height  of  the  Ivaca  Peak  was  also  measured,  and  found  to  be  fifteen 
hundred  and  sixty-three  feet. 

At  noon  I  was  rejoiced  to  discover  the  Porpoise  in  sight.  She  had 
been  looked  for  during  some  days,  and  I  could  not  but  feel  anxious, 
knowing  the  dangers  with  which  the  service  I  had  sent  her  on  was 

TYE    AND    SUALIB.  249 

surrounded.  On  her  coming  up,  I  ordered  signal  to  be  made  for  her 
to  anchor  near  us,  and  in  the  afternoon  we  joined  company.  The 
brig  was  then  ordered  to  get  under  way,  and  follow  our  motions. 

In  standing  into  Ruke-ruke  Bay,  in  the  tender,  we  stood  too  near 
the  reef,  and  the  wind  heading  us  off,  we  missed  stays  and  were 
obliged  to  drop  anchor  to  avoid  going  on  shore.  With  the  assistance 
of  the  brig  we  hauled  off,  ran  round  Sleepy  Point,  and  it  being  too 
late  to  proceed,  anchored  for  the  night.  It  was  my  intention  to  reach 
Yendua  Island  that  night,  but  this  mishap  prevented  us. 

Anganga  Island  is  high,  and  very  much  broken  ;  it  is  not  inhabited, 
and  offers  nothing  but  turtles  in  the  season. 

I  now  had  communication  with  Lieutenant-Commandant  Rmggold, 
and  before  going  on  with  the  details  of  the  expedition  upon  which  I 
had  set  out,  will  recount  those  of  the  operations  of  the  Porpoise,  since 
I  left  her  at  Somu-somu,  five  weeks  previously. 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  procured  as  pilot,  in  place  of 
Tubou  Total,  a  young  Feejee  man  of  Tonga  parents,  named  Aliko, 
quite  intelligent,  whom  he  afterwards  found  remarkably  useful.  He 
was  well  acquainted  with  the  outlying  reefs  and  islands,  having  fre- 
quently visited  them.  He  was  extremely  good-looking,  and  his  skin 
as  light  as  that  of  the  Tongese.  On  the  14th  they  left  Somu-somu, 
to  continue  the  surveys,  proceeding  round  the  south  end  of  Vuna. 
Owing  to  variable  and  light  winds,  they  made  but  httle  progress 
for  the  first  few  days.  They  then  passed  Vaturera,  Nugatobe,  and 
Ythata.  The  former  is  a  high,  square-topped,  rugged  island,  with  an 
extensive  reef,  quite  desolate,  and  lying  northwest  of  Chichia. 

The  Nugatobe  Islets  are  three  in  number,  and  small ;  the  two 
westernmost  are  enclosed  in  the  same  reef. 

Ythata  is  a  high  island,  with  a  bell-shaped  peak,  lying  north  of 
Vaturera ;  it  is  surrounded  by  an  extensive  reef.  There  are  two  low 
islets  lying  east  of  it,  connected  by  a  reef,  in  which  is  a  small  canoe- 
passage  at  high  water.  Ythata  has  extensive  cocoa-nut  groves  along 
its  shores :  it  is  one  of  the  islands  that  form  the  southern  boundary 
of  the  Nanuku  Passage.     It  has  about  twenty  inhabitants. 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  landed  on  the  islets,  and  found 
them  composed  of  white  sand  and  coral.  Some  pandanus  trees  were 
seen.  The  centre  isle  is  composed  of  black  lava  and  stones.  The 
reef  extends  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  feet,  with  a  break  to  the 
north.  Here  magnetic  observations  and  chronometer  sights  were 

Kanathia,  with  its  many  verdant  and  fertile  hills,  is  a  remarkably 
pretty  island.     Its  central  peak  is  sharp  and  lofty,  somewhat  resem- 

VOL.  III.  32 

250  TYE    AND    SUALIB. 

bling  a  lookout-house,  formed  of  basaltic  columns.  It  is  surrounded 
by  a  reef  with  boat-entrances,  and  has  on  the  north  a  break.  The 
reef  extends  four  and  a  half  miles  on  the  northeast  side,  and  to  within 
two  miles  of  that  of  Vanua-valavo.  Kanathia  is  three  miles  long 
from  north  to  south,  by  two  and  a  half  miles  from  east  to  west ;  it 
lies  five  miles  west  of  Vanua-valavo.  The  passage  between  them 
is  clear,  and  the  reefs  of  both  islands  are  visible  at  the  same  time.  A 
detached  reef  lies  off  the  southeast  end  five  miles  distant.  Kanathia 
has  about  three  hundred  inhabitants. 

Malina  was  next  surveyed.  It  lies  north  of  Kanathia,  is  low,  small, 
and  has  little  herbage.     It  has  an  extensive  reef  surrounding  it. 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  next  visited  the  island  of  Vanua- 
valavo,  which  is  included  among  the  Exploring  Isles,  which  he  had 
previously  visited.  He  now  entered  by  the  western  passage,  where 
he  found  good  anchorage,  and  visited  several  fine  harbours,  where 
wood  and  water  are  to  be  had  in  abundance,  and  the  natives  were 
quite  friendly.  From  the  top  of  one  of  the  peaks  of  Vanua-valavo, 
called  Mount  Totten  (after  the  distinguished  head  of  the  engineer 
corps),  angles  were  obtained  on  all  the  surrounding  islands  and  reefs. 
The  barometer  gave  for  the  height  of  this  peak  six  hundred  and  sixty- 
four  feet.  The  officers  were  engaged  sounding  and  surveying  the 
harbours,  and  examinations  were  made  of  the  several  passages.*  The 
chief  of  the  principal  village  is  a  mild,  good  old  man,  who  afforded  all 
the  facilities  in  his  power,  and  the  natives  were  glad  to  communicate 
and  trade  their  taro,  yams,  pigs,  &c.,  in  exchange  for  iron  and  cloth. 
They  are  not  so  swarthy  as  the  other  islanders,  and  some  of  them  are 
nominally  Christians.  The  island  is  estimated  to  contain  one  thousand 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  designated  this  large  and  fine 
anchorage  as  Port  Ridgely,  after  Commodore  Ridgely ;  and  it  affords 
me  great  pleasure  to  confirm  this  compliment  to  one  to  whom  the 
Expedition  was  much  indebted  on  its  outfit. 

On  the  23d,  they  left  this  anchorage  and  proceeded  easterly  along 
the  reef  that  surrounds  the  Exploring  Isles,  when  they  discovered  a 
detached  reef  to  the  eastward,  lying  parallel  to  the  side  of  the  main 
reef  The  southern  end  of  this  detached  reef  is  two  miles  distant  from 
the  other.  It  has  a  small  sand-bank  on  its  south  side,  and  trends  north- 
northeast  and  south-southwest  for  four  miles ;  there  is,  also,  on  it  a 
black  block  of  rock. 

On  the  25th,  they  discovered  a  large  bank  of  coral,  on  which  they 

*  All  these  will  be  particularly  noticed  in  the  Hydrographic  Memoir. 


found  eleven  fathoms  of  water.  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold 
believes  that  it  extends  for  several  miles.  There  is  plenty  of  water  on 
most  parts  of  it  for  any  class  of  ships,  though  it  would  be  well  to  avoid 
it,  as  there  may  be  some  coral  knolls  that  might  bring  a  ship  up.  A 
current  was  found  here  setting  to  the  north  a  mile  and  one-eighth 

The  next  day  the  Duff  Reef  was  examined,  as  well  as  the  sea,  for 
about  thirty  or  forty  miles  to  the  east  of  it,  but  no  other  dangers  were 
visible.  The  Duff  Reef  has  an  extensive  sand-bank  on  it,  and  the 
island  of  Vuna  is  plainly  visible  from  it. 

The  island  of  Yalangalala,  which  lies  just  to  the  westward  of  the 
Duff  Reef,  has  an  extensive  reef  It  is  uninhabited,  and  forms,  with 
Velerara,  the  southern  side  of  the  Nanuku  Passage — the  island  of 
Nanuku  and  its  reef  forming  the  northern  side.  This  passage  between 
these  islands  is  ten  miles  long;  the  course  through  is  southwest.  The 
islands  to  the  north  of  this  passage  are  small  and  low,  and  sur- 
rounded by  very  large  and  extensive  reefs.  The  most  northern  of 
these  are  Korotuna  and  Nukulevu,  both  of  which  are  low,  covered 
with  trees,  fertile,  and  have  many  inhabitants. 

Nukumanu  and  Nukumbasanga  lie  to  the  southward  of  these ;  they 
are  almost  united  by  reefs  and  sunken  patches  of  rock,  which  extend 
to  the  Nanuku  Reef,  and  round  to  Lauthala  and  Kambia. 

Too  much  precaution  on  the  part  of  mariners  cannot  be  used  in 
approaching  this  part  of  the  group.  Several  times  during  the  survey 
the  Porpoise  was  in  great  danger.  The  currents  and  tides  are  irregu- 
lar and  much  governed  by  the  winds,  and  at  times  are  found  running 
with  great  velocity  through  the  various  and  contracted  passages. 

After  making  these  examinations  the  Porpoise  went  to  Tasman's 
Straits,  or  to  those  to  which  I  have  assigned  that  name,  under  the 
belief  that  they  are  those  discovered  by  that  navigator.  They  lie 
between  Vuna  and  Kambia.  This  strait  was  examined,  and  though 
contracted,  affords  a  safe  passage.  Although  I  was  able  to  identify 
Tasman's  Straits,  his  Hemskirch  I  was  unable  to  make  out.  There 
is  a  fine  harbour  on  the  Vuna  side  called  after  Tubou  the  pilot,  which 
the  brig  reached  on  the  afternoon  of  the  3d  of  July,  having  dropped 
her  boats  the  evening  before  to  pass  round  Lauthala  and  Kambia. 
The  boats  joined  her  previous  to  her  entering  the  straits,  having  passed 
the  night  in  a  small  bight  off  the  island  of  Kambia. 

Tubou  Harbour  is  well  protected  except  from  the  north  winds ;  it 
is  formed  by  an  extensive  reef  and  sand-bank.  The  4th  of  July  was 
spent  here,  but  not  in  festivity,  for  I^ieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold 
deemed  the  weather  too  fine  to  lose ;  so  the  survey  of  the  straits  was 

252  TYE    AND    SUALIB. 

continued,  and  many  of  its  reefs  and  sunken  patches  determined. 
The  next  day  was  similarly  employed. 

On  the  6th,  the  Porpoise  reached  Somu-somu,  where  they  found  the 
missionaries  all  well ;  but  the  town  was  nearly  deserted,  as  the  king 
and  chiefs  had  gone  to  a  distant  town  to  a  feast. 

The  Porpoise  experienced  here  the  same  gale  of  wind  we  had  at 
Mbua  Bay,  from  the  7th  until  the  11th.  On  the  10th,  it  having  abated 
a  little,  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  started  for  Rambe  with  the 
launch  in  tow,  intending  to  despatch  the  boats  inside  the  reef,  down 
the  north  side  of  Vanua-levu,  agreeably  to  my  orders.  On  reaching 
the  open  straits  he  found  that  it  still  blew  a  gale,  and  he  was  obliged 
to  run  for  shelter  under  the  northwest  side  of  Kea,  an  island  on  the 
Vanua-levu  side  of  the  straits.  This  place  they  termed  Port  Safety, 
having  run  imminent  risk  in  reaching  it.  The  weather  continuing 
boisterous,  the  time  was  usefully  employed  under  the  lee  of  the  island, 
in  examining  the  bay,  reef,  and  island,  officers  being  sent  to  the  dif- 
ferent points  to  determine  its  height,  and  connect  it  with  the  other 
stations  that  were  in  sight  from  its  top.  Dr.  Holmes  was  one  of  the 
number  who  went  on  a  botanical  excursion,  and  after  reaching  the  top 
with  the  party,  he  set  out  to  return  alone.  An  adventure  then  befell 
him,  which  will  be  better  told  in  his  own  words,  which  I  extract  from 
his  journal. 

"I  started  alone  to  return,  intending  to  deviate  a  little  from  time  to 
time  from  the  direct  path,  to  collect  a  few  botanical  specimens.  I  had 
walked  a  short  distance  only,  when  I  struck  oW  into  a  fine  cocoa-nut 
grove,  and  pursued  my  new  path  so  long,  that  I  was  puzzled  to  retrace 
my  steps.  At  length  I  thought  I  had  succeeded,  and  reached  the 
beach.  The  form  of  the  island  is  peculiar;  it  is  narrow,  and  along  its 
central  part  runs  a  long  range  of  hills,  whose  sides  are  covered  with  a 
thick  tall  hedge  and  underbrush,  so  densely  as  to  make  it  impossible  to 
cross  from  one  side  to  the  other,  except  by  paths  with  which  I  was  of 
course  unacquainted.  I  pursued  my  course  along  the  beach  for  an 
hour  or  two  quite  cheerfully,  expecting  every  moment  to  see  the  brig ; 
but  as  I  rounded  point  after  point  with  quick  steps  and  anxious  eye,  no 
vessel  appeared,  and  I  was  fain  to  push  on  again  for  some  more  dis- 
tant promontory,  promising  myself  that  there  my  walk  was  to  end. 
After  spending  four  hours  in  this  manner,  my  strength  began  to  fail, 
and  I  was  forced  to  believe  I  was  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  island  to 
that  where  the  brig  was  anchored.  To  retrace  my  steps  was  now  im- 
possible, and  I  was  completely  ignorant  how  far  I  should  be  forced  to 
walk  before  I  should  be  in  safety.  I  pushed  on  until  I  was  completely 
exhausted,  and,  moreover,  found  myself  stopped  by  a  thicket  of  man- 

TYE    AND    SUALIB.  253 

groves,  which  was  utterly  impassable.  I  lay  down  upon  the  sand, 
determined  to  await  here  until  some  surveying  boat  might  chance  to 
pass;  this  was  but  a  poor  alternative,  as  I  was  not  aware  the  island 
was  to  be  surveyed  in  this  manner,  nor  was  it  so  surveyed.  I  had 
heard  that  it  was  inhabited,  and  of  course  could  have  little  hope  of 
kindness  from  a  Feejee  native.  I  pushed  on  a  short  distance,  and  lay 
down  quite  worn  out.  I  had  had  no  food  or  drink  for  eight  or  nine 
hours,  and  had  been  incessantly  upon  the  move  in  a  very  hot  day ;  the 
muscles  of  my  legs  were  cramped  and  painful,  and  I  could  go  no 
farther.  I  committed  myself  to  fortune.  I  had  lain  a  few  moments 
only  when  I  heard  voices  behind  me,  and  looking  around  saw  two 
huge  natives,  both  well  armed  and  running  to  the  spot  where  I  was 
lying ;  one  was  entirely  naked,  and  the  other  wore  a  maro  only.  I 
was  totally  unarmed,  and  rising,  offered  my  hand  to  the  foremost  one, 
at  the  same  time  giving  them  the  native  greeting.  I  was  rejoiced  to 
see  that  one  of  them  was  a  Tongese.  They  shook  hands  with  me  in 
the  most  friendly  manner,  at  the  same  time  expressing  and  inquiring 
where  I  came  from,  who  I  was,  and  how  I  got  there.  I  told  them,  as 
well  as  I  could,  that  I  was  a  '  Taranga  Papalangi,'  belonging  to  a 
*  huanga-levu,'  lying  in  the  bay,  and  had  lost  my  way;  at  the  same 
time  requesting  them  to  guide  me  back  to  her,  and  provide  me  with 
water  to  quench  my  thirst.  After  a  little  parley,  during  which  they 
were  joined  by  two  other  Feejee  men,  they  despatched  one  after 
cocoa-nuts,  and  began  to  examine  my  clothes  and  body,  showing 
great  curiosity,  but  being  very  respectful  and  good-natured.  The  nuts 
were  soon  brought,  and,  refreshed  by  the  delicious  draught,  I  set  off  to 
follow  my  guides,  not  without  great  distrust.  But  a  short  distance 
was  sufficient  to  deprive  me  of  all  strength,  and  I  could  drag  myself 
no  farther ;  after  a  consultation,  one  of  them  took  me  upon  his  back 
and  carried  me  through  the  mangroves,  another  proceeding  with  a 
hatchet,  to  cut  a  path.  At  last  I  was  brought  safely  to  the  spot  where 
I  had  landed  from  the  brig ;  guns  from  the  brig,  fired  for  me,  served 
to  guide  my  leaders.  A  boat  was  immediately  sent  for  me,  and  I  was 
taken  on  board,  worn  out  with  fatigue,  but  full  of  joy  and  gratitude  for 
my  safe  return." 

These  men  accompanied  Dr.  Holmes  on  board,  and  were  liberally 
rewarded  for  their  kindness,  with  hatchets,  cloth,  paint,  fish-hooks,  &c. 

The  inhabitants  of  this  island  amount  to  about  thirty;  they  reckon 

ten  Feejee  men  and  five  Tongese,  with  their  families.     They  have  an 

abundance  of  provisions,  consisting  of  pigs,  fowls,  (which  are  said  to 

be  wild  in  the  woods,)  yams,  taro,  and  cocoa-nuts.     A  few  women 

were  seen,  but  they  were  kept  at  a  distance, 


After  remaining  for  another  day  on  account  of  the  weather,  Lieu- 
tenant-Commandant Ringgold  concluded  that  he  ought  to  rejoin  the 
squadron  at  Muthuata,  on  account  of  his  provisions  becoming  short. 
He  therefore  got  under  way  and  stood  for  Rambe  Island.  This  is  a 
lofty  island,  and  very  much  broken;  it  is  in  full  view  from  Somu- 
somu ;  is  well  wooded,  with  many  deep  bights  or  indentations  ;  one  of 
these,  on  its  southeast  side,  affords  anchorage.  There  is  a  large  settle- 
ment on  its  northwest  side.  Between  it  and  Vanua-levu  there  is  a 
passage,  though  it  is  much  studded  with  reefs.  The  island  of  Rambe 
on  the  southeast,  with  Point  Unda  on  the  northwest,  are  the  two  boun- 
daries of  the  bay  of  Natava. 

After  making  some  observations  on  Rambe,  Lieutenant  Comman- 
dant Ringgold  stood  over  for  Unda  Point,  and  steered  along  the  reef  to 
the  Sau-sau  Passage.  When  the  Porpoise  entered  this  passage,  she 
was  boarded  by  Lieutenant  Case,  and  came  to  anchor.  From  Lieu- 
tenant Case,  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  received  my  instruc- 
tions of  the  9th,  and  was  furnished  with  a  pilot.  After  supplying 
Lieutenant  Case's  boats,  he  proceeded  with  the  Porpoise  through  the 
channel,  along  the  north  shore  of  Vanua-levu,  until  he  joined  me  off  the 
island  of  Anganga,  as  before  stated. 

It  would  have  been  desirable,  at  this  time,  to  give  all  hands  a  rest, 
before  undertaking  this  second  examination.  But,  from  the  nature  of 
the  service,  and  working  against  time,  as  we  were  constantly  obliged 
to  do,  I  found  it  impossible,  and  particularly  so  nov/,  as  our  provisions 
were  at  a  low  ebb,  and  we  could  not  procure  any  nearer  than  the  Sand- 
wich Islands,  whither  our  supyjlies  had  been  sent. 

On  the  17th,  we  all  got  under  way  at  daylight,  having  strong  breezes 
from  the  southward  and  eastward.  The  brig  was  ordered  to  take  the 
first  cutter  of  the  Vincennes  in  tow  ;  we  ran  across  to  Yendua  Island, 
through  a  large  number  of  coral  patches,  whose  exact  localit}'-  it  w-as 
impossible  to  fix.  The  whole  is  foul  ground,  and  ought  not  to  be  at- 
tempted by  ships.  I  felt  that  it  was  necessary  for  us  to  run  the 
risk,  but  I  would  not  advise  any  one  to  try  this  route,  as  there  is  a 
free  and  good  channel  lying  in  a  direct  line  from  Mbua  Bay  to 

We  passed  through  a  narrow  entrance  in  the  reef  into  a  very  pretty 
harbour,  which  I  have  called  Porpoise  Harbour;  its  form  is  that  of  a 
large  segment  of  a  circle,  about  one  mile  and  a  half  deep,  and  a  mile 
in  width.  It  lies  open  to  the  southeast,  but  has  a  double  reef  protect- 
ing it ;  the  entrance  is  on  the  east  side.  This  harbour  was  surveyed 
by  the  boats  of  the  Porpoise  and  the  tender. 

Yendua  may  be  said  to  be  divided  into  two  islands,  having  a  boat- 

TYE    AND    SUALIB.  255 

passage  between  them  ;  both  are  composed  of  a  black  volcanic  con- 
glomerate, and  the  hills  are  covered  with  large  boulders  of  lava.  I 
landed  at  once  for  observations,  tents  being  pitched  for  the  boats'  crews. 
The  next  morning,  Lieutenant  Underwood  again  joined  me  in  the  Leo- 
pard, and  we  passed  the  dajKon  shore,  observing  for  time  and  latitude. 
The  other  officers  were  variously  employed  in  surveying,  and  some  as- 
cended the  peak,  and  succeeded  in  getting  a  round  of  angles  on  the 
distant  peaks.  The  day  was  remarkably  clear.  Round  Island  and  the 
Asaua  Group  were  also  in  sight. 

There  is  but  one  village  and  only  about  thirty  inhabitants  on  these 
islands ;  very  few  of  the  latter  are  males.  Gingi,  the  noted  chief  of 
Muthuata,  had  passed  by  a  few  months  before,  on  his  way  to  the  Asaua 
Group.  Having  demanded  a  large  quantity  of  provisions,  yams  and 
taro,  which  it  was  impossible  to  supply,  as  the  hurricane  of  the  pre- 
ceding March  had  destroyed  all  the  crops,  ha  landed  and  murdered  all 
the  men,  women,  and  children  that  could  be  found. 

The  anchorage  and  bays  on  the  west  side  were  all  explored,  particu- 
larly those  parts  that  Lieutenant  Emmons,  from  want  of  time,  had  been 
unable  to  effect ;  but  they  were  of  minor  importance.  The  anchorage 
in  the  western  bays  is  not  good,  as  they  are  so  much  filled  with  coral 
patches,  as  to  make  it  difficult  to  find  a  clear  berth  for  a  ship.  The 
island  is  about  twelve  miles  in  circumference.  The  ebb  tide  was  found 
setting  to  the  southward  and  westward. 

Having  finished  the  observations  I  designed  making  here,  prepara- 
tions were  made  for  an  early  start  in  the  morning.  The  boats  received 
orders  to  pass  at  once  over  to  the  Asaua  Group,  while  the  brig  and 
tender  ran  down  the  reef  towards  Awakalo  or  Round  Island. 

I  landed  on  Round  Island  in  time  to  secure  my  observations.  The 
shelf  on  which  we  landed  was  found  to  be  of  black  conglomerate, 
having  had  the  soft  sandstone  washed  away  for  fifteen  or  twenty  feet 
above.  The  island  is  of  a  crescent  form,  both  on  the  water-line  and  at 
its  top,  rising  to  the  height  of  five  hundred  feet  in  the  centre,  and  drop- 
ping at  each  end.  It  is,  in  various  places,  so  deeply  rent,  as  to  make 
it  impossible  to  reach  its  summit,  which  I  was  desirous  of  doing. 
There  is  no  coral  attached  to  it,  but  an  extensive  patch,  on  which  there 
is  anchorage,  lies  to  the  eastward ;  on  this,  however,  it  is  not  safe  to 
anchor,  for  the  ground  is  much  broken.  From  the  appearance  of  the 
water-worn  strata,  the  island  would  appear  to  have  been  upheaved  at 
several  different  times.  After  going  round  the  island  in  my  boat,  I 
joined  the  tender,  and  ran  over,  south-southwest,  for  the  Asaua  Cluster. 
The  distance  was  found  to  be  ten  miles  by  the  patent  log,  and  the  pas 
sage  is  perfectly  clear. 

256  TYE    AND    SUA  LIB. 

We  reached  the  most  northern  island  of  the  cluster,  Ya-asaua, 
which  has  several  small  islets  off  its  northern  point.  We  were  just 
in  time  to  get  sight  of  the  black  rocks  lying  off  the  entrance  of  what 
I  have  called  Emmons  Bay,  after  Lieutenant  Emmons,  who  had 
surveyed  it.  I  felt  so  much  confidence  in  this  officer's  work,  that  I 
ran  into  the  bay  after  the  night  closed  in,  and  was  followed  by  the 
Porpoise.  We  thus  obtained  safe  anchorage  for  the  night.  The 
boats  answered  our  signal  by  large  fires  on  the  beach,  at  the  head  of 
the  bay. 

In  the  morning,  we  set  about  sounding  this  bay  out,  and  orders 
were  given  to  the  Porpoise,  to  stand  off  and  look  for  the  great  sea-reef 
which  was  supposed  to  exist  to  the  westward,  with  passages  through 
it,  and  to  extend  as  far  as  Biva  Island.  This  examination,  together 
with  a  subsequent  one  by  the  tender,  proved  that  it  became  deep  and 
sunken  a  little  to  the  northward  of  Round  Island. 

Ya-asaua  is  a  very  narrow  island,  about  ten  miles  in  length,  and 
rises  towards  the  southern  part  into  a  high  peak,  called  Tau-tha-ke. 
Wishing  to  get  observations  from  the  top  of  it,  we  ran  down  and 
anchored  near  the  southern  bight,  which  is  well  protected,  except 
from  the  northwest,  by  the  small  island  of  Ovawo  and  two  small  islets. 
We  landed  here  with  a  strong  party,  well  armed,  as  we  knew  the 
natives  were  particularly  savage.  We  succeeded  in  getting  good 
observations,  and  then  ascended  Tau-tha-ke,  from  which  we  obtained 
an  excellent  set  of  observations.  The  weather  being  very  clear, 
the  view  was  remarkably  fine  from  its  top,  commanding  all  the 
surrounding  headlands,  islands,  and  reefs  ;  the  ascent  to  it  is  on  the 
northern  side,  over  a  fine  fertile  plain  upwards  of  a  mile  in  extent, 
on  which  were  the  remains  of  a  village  or  town,  and  of  extensive 
plantations  of  bananas.  These  are  now  in  total  ruin,  having  been 
entirely  destroyed  by  Gingi  in  his  late  expedition.  The  inhabitants, 
who  had  the  air  of  a  conquered  people,  treated  us  with  great  civility, 
but  all  the  provisions  they  could  furnish  were  a  few  cocoa-nuts,  every 
thing  else  having  been  destroyed.  They  were  found  subsisting  upon 
the  yaka,  a  kind  of  root  which  grows  wild  on  the  hills,  and  is  quite 
palatable  when  roasted. 

Mr.  Agate  took  a  most  capital  likeness  of  the  wife  of  the  chief  of 
this  village.  She  was  about  forty  years  of  age ;  her  head  and  side- 
locks  were  nearly  of  a  scarlet  colour  ;  her  necklace  was  composed  of 
a  whale's  tooth,  shells,  and  a  few  beads ;  the  corners  of  her  mouth 
were  tattooed  in  circles  of  a  blue-black  colour. 

She  was  sitting  modestly  after  the  fashion  of  her  country,  and  had  a 
peculiar  cunning  look,  through  eyelids  nearly  closed.     Altogether  she 

TYE    AND    SUALIB.  23'' 

furnished  the  most  characteristic  specimen  of  the  appearance  of  this 
people,  of  any  I  had  seen ;  but  the  imagination  must  supply  the  place 
of  a  bright  red  lock  on  the  side  of  the  head. 


From  the  top  of  Tau-tha-ke,  the  beautiful  little  bay  of  Ya-sau-y-lau 
appeared  to  lie  at  our  feet,  with  the  picturesque  rock  on  its  eastern 
side,  having  much  resemblance  to  a  ruined  castle  or  impregnable 
fortress.  This  rock  is  entirely  volcanic,  with  but  little  vegetation  on 
it.  Tradition  states  it  to  have  been  the  abode  of  an  immense  bird, 
called  Ya-sau-y-lau,  which  it  is  said  was  in  the  habit  of  frequenting 
Vitilevu,  where  it  would  pounce  upon  the  first  individual  it  met,  and 
carry  him  off  to  its  eyrie  for  food.  The  natives  of  Vitilevu  held  it 
in  great  dread  for  a  long  time,  but  desperation  drove  them  to  seek  its 
abode  on  this  rock,  where  they  were  so  fortunate  as  to  find  the  bird 
asleep  on  its  nest,  and  killed  it. 

Tau-tha-ke  was  found  to  be  seven  hundred  and  eighty-one  feet  in 

The  boats'  crews  pitched  their  tents  on  shore  for  the  night,  near  the 
schooner's  anchorage.  During  our  visit  to  Tau-tha-ke,  although  the 
natives  appeared  friendly,  and  were  powerless  from  the  late  depreda- 
tions, I  thought  it  necessary  to  get  the  chief  safe  on  board  the  tender  as 
a  hostage.  I  found  him  very  ready  to  comply,  for  they  were  always 
sure  of  receiving  presents  when  the  time  was  up.  After  we  returned 
on  board,  he  remained  during  the  evening,  when  we  sent  up  some  of 
our  "  fiery  spirits,"  which  greatly  astonished  him.  He  seemed  to  be 
more  intelligent  than  the  others  we  had  met  with.  Through  the 
interpreter  I  asked  him  several  questions  ;  among  others,  what  would 
become  of  him  and  his  people  when  they  died.     The  answer  was 

VOL.  III.  W2  33 

258  TYE    AND    SUALIB. 

quickly  given,  "  That  it  would  be  the  last  of  him  and  them ;  that 
there  were  some  foolish  people,  who  thought  they  would  live  in  some 
other  world ;  but  they  were  very  ignorant,  and  there  were  very  few 
who  thought  in  this  way." 

The  next  morning  the  boats  were  ordered  to  survey  and  sound  out 
Ya-sau-y-lau  Harbour,  and  thence  to  go  on  beyond  the  island  of  Na- 
viti,  passing  those  of  Androna  and  Yangata.  All  these  islands  have 
passages  between  them,  and  are  little  incommoded  with  coral  reefs. 
Some  of  them  rise  to  a  considerable  height,  that  of  Naviti  being  nine 
hundred  and  fifty-four  feet  high.  They  all  have  many  small  villages 
on  them,  which  are  generally  built  on  a  snug  bay,  and  have  near 
them  a  secure  place  of  retreat,  on  the  top  of  some  inaccessible  rock. 
I  had  expected  to  find  anchorage  and  a  good  position  for  observing  at 
Naviti,  but  none  was  accessible. 

Just  to  the  south  of  Naviti,  is  an  island,  the  name  of  which  I  could 
not  obtain,  and  which  I  subsequently  called  Eld  Island,  after  Passed 
Midshipman  Eld.  To  three  others  near  it  I  gave  the  names  of  Fox, 
Agate,  and  Sinclair.  Eld  Island  was  found  to  be  adapted  to  my 
purposes.  We  ascended  its  peak,  and  obtained  the  requisite  observa- 
tions.    I  then  despatched  the  tender  to  bring  up  the  boats. 

During  the  absence  of  the  tender,  we  discovered  three  or  four  canoes 
with  a  number  of  natives  concealed  just  around  the  bluff  of  the  next 
island.  These  natives  were  watching  our  motions  very  closely,  and  I 
deemed  it  necessary  to  put  the  men  at  the  boat,  which  was  some 
distance  from  us  below,  upon  their  guard,  and  sent  extra  boat-keepers 
to  reinforce  them.  These  natives  learned  that  we  were  well-armed, 
by  the  occasional  firing  of  our  guns  at  birds,  and  did  not  trouble  us. 
On  the  arrival  of  the  tender,  they  went  off,  and  we  saw  no  more  of 
them.  It  was  by  no  means  pleasant  to  be  constantly  feeling  that  if  one 
of  us  should  straggle,  he  might  be  kidnapped  and  taken  off  to  furnish  a 
cannibal  feast.  The  boats  again  at  night  pitched  their  tents  on  the 
beach  near  the  tender. 

Naviti  has  several  large  villages,  though  there  is  little  level  ground 
for  cultivation.  From  the  top  of  Eld  Island,  that  of  Biva,  in  the  west, 
extensive  coral  reefs  trending  north  from  the  island  of  Vomo  to  the 
east,  and  the  small  islands  in  the  southern  part  of  this  group,  could  be 
distinctly  seen. 

A  few  natives  were  seen  on  this  island,  who  had  swum  across  the 
narrow  passage  between  it  and  Naviti.  They  were  living  in  a  mise- 
rable hut,  and  their  principal  food  appeared  to  be  the  yaka,  which  an 
old  woman  was  baking  in  the  fire.    From  the  natives  digging  in  search 

TYE    AND    SUALIB.  259 

of  this  root,  all  the  hills  on  these  islands  had  an  appearance  as  if  rooted 
up  by  pigs. 

At  daylight  I  despatched  the  Vincennes'  first  cutter  and  the  Leopard 
to  survey  the  small  islands  in  their  route  towards  Malolo,  where  I  had 
ordered  a  rendezvous  with  the  brig ;  and  with  the  tender  and  Peacock's 
first  cutter  I  took  the  inner  islands  and  shoals.  The  former  passed  to 
the  right  of  Waia  Island,  while  the  latter  took  the  left  side. 

Waia  is  the  highest  and  most  broken  island  of  this  group,  its  peak 
being  about  sixteen  hundred  and  forty-one  feet  above  the  level  of  the 
sea.  Connected  with  it  are  Waialailai  and  Waialailaithake,  all  very 
rugged  and  broken.  On  the  latter  I  landed,  and  succeeded,  after  some 
difficulty,  in  getting  to  the  top  of  one  of  its  rocky  peaks,  which  I  called 
Observatory  Peak.  At  the  first  view  it  appeared  almost  inaccessible, 
but  in  making  the  attempt,  we  found  that  the  difficulties  fortunately 
diminished  as  we  neared  the  top.  We  found  the  ascent  very  fatiguing, 
encumbered,  as  we  were  obliged  to  be,  not  only  with  our  instruments, 
but  with  fire-arms,  for  it  was  very  necessary  to  keep  constantly  on  our 
guard  against  attacks  by  the  natives.  On  landing,  we  had  thought 
that  this  island  was  uninhabited,  but  we  were  not  long  on  the  top 
before  we  saw  several  natives  keeping  a  close  watch  upon  us.  This 
constant  necessity  of  keeping  on  one's  guard  for  fear  of  surprise  was 
not  a  little  harassing,  and  made  my  anxiety  for  the  parties  very  great. 
The  more  knowledge  I  obtained  of  the  natives,  the  less  was  I  disposed 
to  trust  them. 

The  Waia  Islanders  are  said  to  be  quite  independent  of  any  autho- 
rity except  that  of  their  own  chiefs.  All  endeavours  made  to  subjugate 
them  have  proved  unavailing ;  and  they  keep  themselves  retired  within 
their  own  fastnesses,  avoiding  communication  with  the  other  natives, 
except  when  they  occasionally  make  an  incursion,  with  a  strong  force, 
on  the  defenceless  towns  of  other  islands.  From  their  cruel  conduct 
on  these  expeditions,  they  have  obtained,  even  from  their  cannibal 
neighbours,  the  name  of  savages.  The  island  is  said  to  be  fruitful,  but 
1  can  hardly  credit  the  assertion,  for  it  seems  little  better  than  a  craggy 
rock :  it  is  thought  to  contain  three  thousand  inhabitants.  It  is  sur- 
rounded by  a  few  patches  of  coral  reef,  but  not  enough  to  afford  it  a 
harbour.  The  western  sides  of  the  islands  are  very  much  worn  by  the 
sea,  in  consequence  of  there  being  no  sea-reef  to  protect  them  from  the 
full  swell  of  the  ocean,  in  the  storms  which  at  certain  seasons  rage 
here  with  violence. 

The  observations  from  Observatory  Peak  were  quite  satisfactory, 
for  we  were  fortunate  in  having  very  clear  weather,  so  that  we  had  all 

260  TYE    AND    SUALIB. 

the  objects  under  view  that  we  desired.  The  height  of  this  peak  was 
found  to  be  about  five  hundred  and  fifty-five  feet. 

In  the  afternoon,  I  made  for  Vomo,  and  anchored  under  it.  Here  I 
found  Lieutenant  Emmons,  on  his  return  from  his  examinations  of  some 
detached  reefs. 

The  southern  half  of  Vomo  has  a  high,  narrow,  and  ahnost  per- 
pendicular bluff;  the  northern  half  is  sand,  covered  with  a  thick 
growth  of  bushes,  the  resort  of  many  pigeons :  it  is  two  miles  in 
circumference.  There  is  a  detached  rock,  of  a  somewhat  castellated 
appearance,  at  its  northwest  end,  which  I  called  Castle  Rock.  There 
is  anchorage  for  a  small  vessel,  but  in  any  thing  of  a  gale  even  she 
would  be  badly  protected. 

Messrs.  Sinclair  and  Eld  were  sent  at  early  daylight  to  the  top  of 
the  rocky  bluff,  to  get  a  round  of  angles,  in  which  they  succeeded.  I 
passed  the  greatest  part  of  the  day  on  the  beach,  making  the  usual 
series  of  observations  for  latitude  and  meridian  distances,  and  also 
taking  a  round  of  angles. 

At  about  half-past  three,  just  as  we  were  about  getting  under  way, 
a  large  fleet  of  canoes  was  seen  approaching  the  island  from  Waia. 
Vomo  is  usually  their  place  of  stopping,  being  about  half  way  to  the 
Vitilevu  shore  from  their  island.  They  are  always  very  cautious  in 
their  descent  on  the  large  island,  although  it  is  supposed  that  many 
of  its  towns  hold  communication  with  them,  and  the  original  inhabi- 
tants of  the  Naviti  and  Waia  Islands  are  said  to  have  been  renegades 
from  the  larger  islands. 

Tom  told  me  they  must  be  after  some  mischief  towards  us,  as  they 
seldom  left  their  island  with  so  large  a  .force.  However  true  this 
might  have  been,  we  were  soon  under  w^ay,  standing  towards  the 
Vitilevu  shore,  for  the  wind  did  not  permit  us  to  lay  our  course  for 
Malolo.  We  passed  through  narrow  passages  in  reefs,  and  over 
patches  of  rock,  where  there  was  little  more  water  than  the  tender 

Our  pilots  had  never  been  over  this  ground,  and  thought  the  natives, 
who  are  well  acquainted  with  it,  must  have  calculated  upon  our  meet- 
ing with  some  accident,  and  intended  to  be  near,  to  take  advantage 
of  it. 

Vomo,  the  island  just  spoken  of,  is  famous  for  its  turtles,  more  being 
caught  here  than  on  any  other  island  of  the  group ;  the  time  for  taking 
them  is  from  December  to  March.  During  this  season  every  place  to 
which  the  turtles  are  in  the  habit  of  resorting  is  occupied  by  the 
natives,  who  remain  in  these  haunts  of  the  animal  for  the  whole  of  the 


above  time,  engaged  in  taking  them.  At  other  seasons  turtles  are 
occasionally  taken  in  nets,  made  of  cocoanut-husk  sennit,  among  the 
shoals  and  reefs. 

We  have  seen  that  the  chiefs  keep  turtles  in  pens ;  and  I  have  been 
informed,  by  credible  witnesses,  that  when  they  do  not  wish  to  kill 
them,  and  have  an  opportunity  of  disposing  of  the  valuable  part  of  the 
shell,  they  will  remove  it  from  the  living  animal.  They  do  this  by 
holding  a  burning  brand  close  to  the  outer  shell  until  it  curls  up  and 
separates  a  little  from  that  beneath  ;  into  the  gap  thus  formed  a  small 
wooden  wedge  is  inserted,  by  which  the  whole  is  easily  removed  from 
the  back.  After  they  have  been  thus  stripped,  they  are  again  put  into 
the  pens,  and  although  the  operation  appears  to  give  great  pain,  it  is 
not  fatal. 

Each  turtle  is  covered  with  thirteen  pieces,  five  on  the  back,  and 
four  on  each  side.  These  together  make  what  is  called  a  head,  whose 
average  weight  is  about  fourteen  pounds. 

Tortoise-shell,  I  am  informed,  sometimes  sells  in  Manilla  for  from 
two  to  three  thousand  dollars  the  picul  (one  hundred  and  thirty-three 
English  pounds).  It  constitutes  the  chief  article  of  trade  in  these 
islands,  and  causes  them  to  be  visited  by  traders  every  season,  while 
it  is  the  chief  inducement  for  the  residence  of  whites  among  them, 
who  endeavour  to  monopolize  the  trade. 

The  visits  of  the  traders  in  tortoise-shell,  who  come  in  small  vessels, 
are  attended  with  no  little  risk,  and  there  are  many  accounts  of 
attempts  made  by  the  natives  to  cut  them  off.  They  resort  to  many 
methods  of  effecting  this  purpose  ;  among  others,  one  of  the  most  fre- 
quent is  to  dive  and  lay  hold  of  the  cable :  this,  when  the  wind  blows 
fresh  towai'ds  the  shore,  is  cut,  in  order  that  the  vessel  may  drift  upon 
it ;  or,  in  other  cases,  a  rope  is  attached  to  the  cable,  by  which  the 
vessel  may  be  dragged  ashore.  The  time  chosen  for  these  purposes,  is 
just  before  daylight.  The  moment  a  vessel  touches  the  land,  she  is 
considered  and  treated  as  a  prize  sent  by  their  gods. 

By  five  o'clock  we  had  anchored  under  the  Vitilevu  shore,  off  the 
point  called  Viti-rau-rau,  where  we  lay  until  2  a.  m.  Having  the 
advantage  of  the  moon,  by  whose  light  we  trusted  to  find  our  way 
through  the  reefs,  and  being  favoured  by  a  land-breeze,  we  then 
weighed  anchor,  in  hopes  of  reaching  Malolo  in  time  for  early  obser- 
vations. At  eight  o'clock,  a.  m.  it  fell  calm,  and  not  wishing  to  lose 
the  day,  I  determined  to  land  on  a  small  sand-island,  a  mile  and  a  half 
in  circumference,  (which  I  called  Linthicum  Island,  after  my  cock- 
swain,) that  was  near  us,  and  afterwards  to  connect  it  with  that  of 
Malolo  by  triangulation.     The  anchor  of  the  tender  was  accordingly 



dropped,  her  sails  remaining  up,  as  a  signal  to  the  boats  of  our  position.. 
We  were  then  about  five  miles  east  of  Malolo.  I  soon  landed,  with 
Mr.  Eld,  and  became  engaged  in  our  observations.  In  the  afternoon,  I 
was  congratulating  myself  that  I  had  now  finished  my  last  station  of 
the  survey,  and  that  my  meridian  distances  and  latitudes  were  all 
complete.  We  were  putting  up  our  instruments  to  go  on  board,  when 
it  was  reported  to  me  that  the  three  boats  were  in  sight,  coming  down 
before  the  breeze.  So  unusual  an  occurrence  at  once  made  me  sus- 
pect that  some  accident  had  occurred;  and  on  the  first  sight  I  got  of 
them,  I  found  that  their  colours  were  half-mast  and  union  down.  1 
need  not  describe  the  dread  that  came  over  me.  We  reached  the 
tender  only  a  few  moments  before  them,  and  when  they  arrived,  I 
learned  that  a  horrid  massacre  had  but  a  short  hour  before  taken 
place,  and  saw  the  mutilated  and  bleeding  bodies  of  Lieutenant  Joseph 
A.  Underwood  and  my  nephew,  Midshipman  Wilkes  Henry. 

The  boats  were  taken  in  tow,  when  we  stood  for  Malolo,  and  as  the 
night  closed  in,  anchored  in  its  eastern  bay. 


C  II  A  P  T  E  E  IX. 





M  A  L  O  L  O. 

The  melancholy  event  of  which  I  became  aware  in  its  full  extent 
by  the  return  of  the  boats  under  Lieutenant  Alden,  as  related  at  the 
close  of  the  foregoing  chapter,  was  calculated  to  excite  the  most 
intense  feelings  that  can  agitate  the  mind  of  a  man  or  of  an  officer. 
It  took  place  just  as, — after  weeks  of  intense  anxiety  for  the  safety  of 
those  under  my  command,  exposed  in  open  boats  to  the  perils  of  the 
sea,  and  in  small  detachments  to  the  insidious  attacks  of  savages, 
instigated  not  merely  by  cupidity,  but  by  the  horrible  instinct  of  can- 
nibal appetite, — I  had  myself  closed  the  operations  of  the  survey,  and 
awaited  only  my  junction  with  the  boats  to  be  satisfied  that  all  our 
perils  were  at  an  end.  One  of  the  victims  was  my  own  near  relation, 
confided  to  my  care  by  a  widowed  mother;  I  had  therefore  more 
than  the  ordinary  degree  of  sorrow,  which  the  loss  of  promising  and 
efficient  officers  must  cause  in  the  breast  of  every  commander,  to 
oppress  me.  The  blood  of  the  slain  imperatively  called  for  retribu- 
tion, and  the  honour  of  our  flag  demanded  that  the  outrage  upon  it 
should  not  remain  unpunished.  On  the  other  hand,  it  was  necessary, 
in  order  that  any  proceedings  I  should  adopt  should  be  such  as  would 
be  capable  of  full  vindication  and  meet  the  approval  of  the  whole 
civilized  world,  that  my  action  in  the  case  should  not  appear  to  be 
instigated  by  mere  vindictiveness,  and  should  be  calculated  to  serve, 
not  as  an  incitement  to  retaliation  upon  future  visiters,  but  as  a 
salutary  lesson,  as  well  to  the  actual  perpetrators  of  the  deed,  as  to 
the  inhabitants  of  the  whole  group. 

It  was  beyond  every  thing  else  important,  that  in  the  desire  of 
inflicting  punishment,  I  should   avoid,  as  far  as  possible,  the  risk  of 

VOL.  III.  X  34  (265) 

2G6  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

losing  other  valuable  lives.  The  two  chief  vessels  of  my  squadron 
were  at  a  distance,  and  I  knew  that  the  natives  of  Malolo  were  not 
only  guarded  in  their  towns  by  fortifications,  impregnable  in  their 
own  mode  of  warfare,  but  were  furnished  with  fire-arms  and  ammu- 
nition. To  burn  the  dwellings  of  these  fastnesses,  as  I  had  done  at 
Tye,  if  an  adequate  punishment  for  mere  thefts,  would  have  been  no 
sufficient  penalty  for  the  present  heinous  offence,  nor  would  it  have 
served  to  deter  the  people  of  Malolo  from  similar  acts  for  the  future. 

The  passions  of  all  around  me  were  excited  to  the  highest  pitch, 
and  although  the  most  severely  injured  of  any,  it  became  my  task  to 
restrain  the  desire  of  revenge  within  the  bounds  of  prudent  action 
in  the  conduct  of  retaliatory  measures,  as  it  became  afterwards  my 
endeavour  to  prevent  a  just  and  salutary  punishment  from  becoming  a 
vindictive  and  indiscriminate  massacre. 

My  first  duty  was  to  receive  the  report  of  the  officer  in  command  of 
the  boats,*  and  to  make  such  further  inquiry  into  the  circumstances  of 
the  transaction,  as  should  satisfy  me  that  the  bloody  deed  had  not  been 
provoked  on  the  part  of  the  victims.  The  results  of  this  inquiry  were 
as  follow. 

On  the  22d  July,  the  first  cutter  of  the  Vincennes,  Lieutenant  Alden 
and  Midshipman  Henry,  and  the  Leopard,  Lieutenant  Underwood, 
left,  as  has  been  stated,  the  station  at  Eld  Island,  and  proceeded  along 
the  right  side  of  Waia,  for  the  purpose  of  fulfilling  my  orders  to 
survey  the  small  islands  lying  north  of  Malolo.  This  done,  they 
had  instructions  to  join  the  tender  or  Porpoise  on  the  western  side  of 
that  island,  and  survey  such  islands  as  they  might  fall  in  with  on  the 
way.  After  passing  Waia,  the  boats  anchored  for  the  night  under 
one  of  the  small  islands. 

The  next  day,  they  were  employed  in  the  survey  of  the  small 
islands,  and  in  the  evening  anchored  in  the  bay  on  the  east  side  of 
Malolo,  formed  by  it  and  Malolo-lai-lai,  or  Little  Malolo. 

On  reaching  this  place.  Lieutenant  Alden,  being  desirous  of  ascer- 
taining if  the  Porpoise  was  at  the  anchorage  on  the  west  side,  directed 
Lieutenant  Underwood  to  land  near  the  south  end  of  Malolo,  and  to 
ascend  a  small  eminence  to  get  a  view  of  that  anchorage.  Lieutenant 
Alden,  it  appears,  cautioned  Lieutenant  Underwood  to  go  well  armed 
and  to  be  on  his  guard  with  the  natives,  as  on  his  former  visit,  about  six 
weeks  before,  he  had  been  led  to  doubt  their  friendly  disposition,  and, 
in  consequence,  had  avoided  having  any  communication  with  them. 
He  also  directed  Lieutenant  Underwood  to  return  before  sunset. 

*  See  Appendix  XIV. 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  267 

Lieutenant  Underwood  landed  and  went  up  the  hill  with  one  of  his 
men.  After  a  few  minutes,  Lieutenant  Alden  observed  some  suspi- 
cious movements  among  the  natives  near  the  point,  and,  in  conse- 
quence, hoisted  a  signal  of  recall.  Lieutenant  Underwood  was  soon 
seen  returning  to  the  boat  with  his  man  and  a  native.  Before  leaving 
the  beach,  he  had  some  talk  with  the  natives. 

On  joining  Lieutenant  Alden,  he  reported  that  there  was  no  vessel 
in  sight,  and  mentioned  that  on  his  way  up  the  hill,  he  suddenly  came 
upon  a  native  carrying  an  armful  of  clubs,  who,  the  moment  he  per- 
ceived him,  threw  down  his  load  and  attempted  flight,  but  Lieutenant 
Underwood  detained  and  made  him  go  before  them  to  the  boat.  When 
they  reached  the  beach,  a  party  of  natives  joined,  and  appeared  to  him 
much  disconcerted  at  finding  the  lad  a  prisoner,  and  without  arms. 

They  passed  the  night  at  anchor  in  this  bay,  and  on  the  morning  of 
the  24th,  discovered  the  tender  at  anchor  to  the  eastward.  At  nine 
o'clock  Lieutenant  Emmons  joined  them  in  the  Peacock's  first  cutter, 
having  passed  the  night  at  one  of  the  small  sand-islands  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. Lieutenant  Emmons  found  them  waiting  breakfast  for  him. 
They  anticipated  that  he  had  some  more  provisions  for  them,  as  he 
had  recently  parted  with  the  tender,  and  hoped  to  procure  some  yams, 
pigs,  &c.,  from  him,  or  from  the  tender  herself,  which  would  in  all 
probability  reach  Malolo  during  the  day. 

When  Lieutenant  Emmons  arrived,  several  of  the  natives,  some  of 
whom  were  armed,  were  on  the  beach  where  the  boats'  crews  had 
cooked  their  breakfast. 

Many  inducements  were  oflered  to  them  for  pigs,  yams,  &c.,  with 
very  little  success,  each  oflTering  some  excuse,  and  urging  the  necessity 
of  the  boats  going  to  their  town  for  such  things. 

Just  after  they  had  finished  their  breakfast,  the  chief  spokesman  of 
the  village  came,  wading  out  near  the  boats,  and  invited  them,  in  the 
name  of  the  chief,  to  their  town,  where  he  said  the  chief  had  secured 
four  large  hogs  as  a  present  for  them.  In  this  talk,  Oahu  Sam,  who 
it  will  be  recollected  came  on  board  the  Peacock  as  Vendovi's  barber, 
was  the  interpreter. 

It  appears  that  Lieutenant  Underwood  now  volunteered  to  go  to  the 
town  for  provisions,  taking  with  him  John  Sac  (the  New  Zealander 
heretofore  mentioned)  as  interpreter,  from  Lieutenant  Alden's  boat. 
He,  in  consequence,  shoved  off',  leaving  the  other  boat  to  follow  him  as 
soon  as  the  tide  would  allow  it  to  cross  the  reef  between  the  islands. 
Lieutenant  Emmons  then  pushed  his  boat  for  the  shore,  and  landed, 
with  three  armed  men,  on  Malolo-lai-lai,  in  order  to  obtain  some  angles 
from  the  top  of  a  hill.     On  his  approaching  the  beach,  the  natives 

268  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

waded  oft'  to  his  boat,  but  he  ordered  them  off",  and  directed  the  officer 
with  him,  Midshipman  Clark,  to  keep  his  boat  afloat,  and  not  suffer 
them  to  approach  her  during  his  absence.  This  order  was  strictly- 
attended  to,  and  although  a  similar  attempt  was  again  made,  the 
natives  when  ordered  off"  retired  as  before. 

Lieutenant  Underwood's  boat  drew  too  much  water  to  get  across 
the  reef,  and  grounded,  upon  which  a  number  of  natives  collected 
around  her,  and  joining  with  the  boat's  crew,  assisted  to  drag  her  over 
the  reef.  At  this  time  the  natives  got  a  knowledge  of  the  feebleness 
of  the  armament  of  Lieutenant  Underwood's  boat.  To  my  surprise  I 
have  since  learned  that  Lieutenant  Underwood  had  left  the  greater 
part  of  the  armament  with  which  he  had  been  furnished  on  board  the 
brig  some  few  days  before.  Seven  rifles  had  been  put  on  board  that 
vessel,  under  the  idea  that  it  would  lighten  the  boat,  and  no  more  than 
three  out  of  the  ten  he  took  with  him  from  the  Vincennes  remained. 

On  landing  they  found  no  more  than  two  pigs  tied  to  a  tree  for  sale, 
instead  of  the  four  they  had  been  promised  as  presents.  These  the 
natives  declined  selling  until  the  chief,  who  was  out  upon  the  reef 
fishing,  should  return.  A  messenger  was  sent  for  him,  and  he  soon 
made  his  appearance,  but  conducted  himself  haughtily,  and  refused  to 
part  with  his  hogs  except  for  a  musket,  powder,  and  ball,  which  being 
against  orders  was  refused. 

Lieutenant  Alden  entertained  some  uneasiness  at  the  number  of 
natives  that  had  crowded  around  the  Leopard,  and  proceeded  to  join 
her,  but  was  detained  near  the  reef  about  twenty  minutes  before  the 
tide  would  allow  the  boat  to  pass  over,  the  first  cutter  drawing  more 
water  than  the  Leopard.  On  entering  the  bay,  he  found  the  Leopard 
at  anchor  about  two  thousand  feet  from  the  shore,  in  just  sufficient 
water  to  enable  his  boat  to  get  alongside.  He  was  informed  by  the 
boat's  crew  that  Lieutenant  Underwood  had  gone  on  shore,  leaving  a 
hostage  in  the  Leopard,  whom  Lieutenant  Alden  immediately  took 
into  his  own  boat.  Lieutenant  Underwood  was  accompanied  to  the 
shore  by  J.  Clark,  armed  with  a  rifle  and  sheath-knife ;  J.  Dunnock 
and  J.  M'Kean,  armed  with  cutlasses  ;  William  Leicester,  who  had  the 
trade-box,  unarmed  ;  John  Sac,  interpreter,  unarmed ;  Jerome  Davis 
and  Robert  Furman,  unarmed.  The  rest  of  his  men  remained  in  the 
boat,  armed  with  cutlasses  and  two  rifles. 

Lieutenant  Underwood  was  now  seen  on  the  beach,  endeavouring  to 
trade  with  a  party  of  about  fifteen  natives,  whence  he  sent  off  Robert 
Furman,  a  coloured  boy,  to  Lieutenant  Alden,  to  say  that  the  natives 
would  not  trade,  except  for  powder,  shot,  and  muskets.  Furman  was 
sent  back  by  Lieutenant  Alden  to  say,  that  he  would  not  consent  to 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  2G9 

any  such  exchange  while  the  schooner  was  within  reach ;  that  they 
could  be  supplied  by  her,  and  that  he  must  hurry  off,  as  he  thought  he 
had  been  long  enough  absent  (having  remained  on  shore  about  an 
hour)  to  purchase  all  they  required,  if  the  natives  were  disposed  to 

After  this.  Midshipman  Henry  asked,  and  Lieutenant  Alden  gave 
him  permission  to  land  in  the  canoe,  and  come  off  with  Lieutenant 
Underwood.  A  few  moments  after,  a  small  canoe  came  alongside 
Lieutenant  Alden's  boat,  and  exchanged  some  words  with  the  hostage, 
who  displayed  a  little  anxiety  to  return  with  them  to  the  shore.  As 
the  canoe  shoved  off,  he  attempted  to  leave  the  boat,  when  Lieutenant 
Alden  took  him  by  the  arm  and  directed  him  to  sit  down,  giving  him 
to  understand  that  he  must  keep  quiet.  Lieutenant  Emmons  now 
joined,  and  the  Leopard  was  ordered  to  drop  in  as  near  to  the  party 
on  shore  as  possible.  The  tide  had  by  this  time  risen  sufficiently  to 
allow  her  to  go  most  of  the  way  on  the  reef.  After  another  half  hour 
had  expired,  Jerome  Davis,  one  of  the  boat's  crew,  came  off  with  a 
message  from  Lieutenant  Underwood,  that  with  another  hatchet  he 
could  purchase  all  he  required. 

The  hatchet  was  given  to  Davis,  who  was  directed  to  say  to  Lieu- 
tenant Underwood  that  Lieutenant  Alden  desired  to  see  him  without 
delay,  and  that  he  should  come  off  as  soon  as  possible  with  what 
he  had. 

While  Lieutenant  Alden  was  relating  the  circumstances  of  the 
hostage's  desire  to  escape  to  Lieutenant  Emmons,  from  the  starboard 
side  of  the  boat,  the  hostage  jumped  overboard  from  the  larboard 
quarter,  and  made  for  the  shore,  in  two  and  a  half  feet  water,  lookino- 
over  his  shoulder,  so  as  to  dodge  at  the  flash  if  fired  at.  He  took  a 
direction  different  from  that  of  the  party  on  the  beach,  to  divide  the 
attention  of  those  in  the  boats.  Lieutenant  Alden  immediately  levelled 
his  musket  at  the  hostage,  who  slackened  his  pace  for  a  moment,  and 
then  continued  to  retreat. 

Midshipman  Clark,  who  was  ready  to  fire,  was  directed  to  fire  over 
his  head,  which  did  not  stop  him. 

J.  Clark  testifies  that  Lieutenant  Underwood,  M'Kean,  and  himself, 
were  standing  near  the  beach,  waiting  the  return  of  Davis,  when  they 
saw  the  chief  escape  from  the  boat,  and  heard  the  report  of  the  musket. 
The  old  chief,  who  was  standing  near,  immediately  cried  out  that  his 
son  was  killed,  and  ordered  the  natives  to  make  fight.  Upon  this  two 
of  them  seized  upon  Clark's  rifle,  and  tried  to  take  it  from  him.  One 
of  these  he  stabbed  in  the  breast  with  his  sheath-knife ;  the  other  Mr 
IFnderwood  struck  on  the  head  with  the  butt  end  of  his  pistol,  upon 


S'/O  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

which  both  reh'nquished  their  hold.  Lieutenant  Underwood  then 
ordered  the  men  to  keep  close  together,  and  they  endeavoured  to  make 
their  way  to  the  boat,  facing  the  natives.  Lieutenant  Underwood  also 
called  upon  Midshipman  Henry  to  assist  in  covering  the  retreat  of  the 
men  to  the  boats,  to  which  Mr.  Henry  replied,  that  he  had  just  received 
a  blow  from  the  club  of  a  native,  and  would  first  have  a  crack  at  him. 
He  then  pursued  the  native  a  few  steps,  and  cut  him  down  with  his 
bowie-knife  pistol,  and  had  again  reached  the  water's  edge,  when  he 
was  struck  with  a  short  club  on  the  back  of  the  head,  just  as  he  fired 
his  pistol  and  shot  a  native.  The  blow  stunned  him,  and  he  fell  with 
his  face  in  the  water,  when  he  was  instantly  surrounded  by  the  natives, 
who  stripped  him.  The  natives  now  rushed  out  from  the  mangrove- 
bushes  in  great  numbers,  some  of  them  endeavouring  to  get  between 
Lieutenant  Underwood  and  the  water,  while  others  crowded  upon  his 
party,  throwing  their  short-handled  clubs  and  using  their  spears. 
Lieutenant  Underwood,  having  received  a  spear-wound,  fired,  and 
ordered  the  men  to  do  the  same ;  and  after  he  had  fired  his  second 
pistol,  was  knocked  down  by  the  blow  of  a  club.  Clark  at  the  same 
time  was  struck,  and  had  no  farther  recollection. 

J.  Dunnock  says  that  he  was  at  some  distance  from  Lieutenant 
Underwood  at  the  time  the  attack  was  made ;  and  the  first  intimation 
he  had  of  it,  was  Lieutenant  Underwood's  order  to  keep  together  and 
go  down  to  the  boat.  While  obeying  the  order,  he  saw  the  natives 
seize  upon  Clark's  rifle,  and  strike  Lieutenant  Underwood ;  but  after 
this  he  had  as  much  as  he  could  do  to  avoid  the  clubs  and  spears 
hurled  at  himself  He  says  that  Mr.  Henry  was  near  him,  and  up  to 
his  knees  in  water,  when  he  received  the  blow  from  the  short  club 
which  knocked  him  down  lifeless,  with  his  face  in  the  water.  He  did 
not  see  the  hostage  escape,  nor  hear  the  gun  fired. 

M'Kean  states  that  he  was  standing  by  the  side  of  Lieutenant 
Underwood  at  the  time  they  were  awaiting  the  return  of  Davis ;  that 
suddenly  there  was  a  movement  among  the  natives,  and  the  cause  of 
it  was  discovered  to  be  the  escape  of  the  hostage.  Mr.  Underwood, 
anticipating  trouble,  immediately  ordered  the  men  to  assemble  and 
make  for  the  boat. 

John  Sac's  story  corroborates  that  of  M'Kean.  He  says,  that  upon 
hearing  the  gun,  and  seeing  the  hostage  escaping,  the  chief  cried  out 
that  his  son  was  killed,  and  gave  the  war-cry. 

On  seeing  the  attack.  Lieutenants  Emmons  and  Alden  pushed  for 
the  shore,  with  both  boats.  The  former  had  already  started  to  en- 
deavour to  retake  the  hostage.  The  boats  commenced  firing  as  they 
sailed  in  on  some  natives  who  appeared  to  be  wading   out  to  meet 

MALOLO,  2^j 

them  As  soon  as  the  boats  took  the  bottom,  all  jumped  out  except 
two  boat-keepers,  and  waded  in,  occasionally  firing  at  the  natives, 
who  now  retreated,  carrying  off  their  dead  and  wounded,  and  soon 
disappeared  among  the  mangrove-bushes. 

Before  reaching  the  beach,  J.  G.  Clark  was  met  badly  wounded,  and 
was  taken  at  once  to  the  boats.  On  the  beach  lay  Lieutenant  Under- 
wood, partly  stripped,  and  Midshipman  Henry,  quite  naked,  with  a 
native  close  by  the  latter,  badly  wounded,  who  was  at  once  despatched. 

The  party,  picking  up  the  bodies,  bore  them  to  the  boats.  On  the 
first  inspection,  some  faint  hopes  were  entertained  that  Midshipman 
Henry  was  not  dead  ;  but  a  second  examination  dissipated  this  idea. 

The  boats  now  hauled  off,  and  made  sail  to  join  the  tender,  where 
they  had  seen  her  in  the  morning  at  anchor. 

Every  attention  was  paid  to  the  wounded  and  dead  by  the  officers 
that  affection  and  regard  could  dictate ;  and  I  could  not  but  feel  a 
melancholy  satisfaction  in  having  it  in  my  power  to  pay  them  the  last 
sad  duties,  and  that  their  bodies  had  been  rescued  from  the  shambles 
of  these  odious  cannibals.  Yet,  when  I  thought  that  even  the  grave 
might  not  be  held  sacred  from  their  hellish  appetites,  I  felt  much 
concern  relative  to  the  disposition  of  the  bodies.  I  thought  of  com- 
mitting them  to  the  open  sea ;  but  one  of  the  secluded  sand-islands 
we  had  passed  the  day  before  occurred  to  me  as  a  place  far  enough 
removed  from  these  condor-eyed  savages  to  permit  them  to  be  en- 
tombed in  the  earth,  without  risk  of  exhumation,  although  there  was 
no  doubt  that  our  movements  were  closely  watched  from  the  highest 
peaks.  On  consultation  with  the  officers,  they  concurred  with  my 
views  on  this  point. 

There  being  no  doubt,  from  the  reports  of  all  parties  pi'esent,  that  this 
outrage  was  entirely  unprovoked,  I  had  no  hesitation  in  determining 
to  inflict  the  punishment  it  merited,  and  this,  not  by  the  burning  of 
the  towns  alone,  but  in  the  blood  of  the  plotters  and  actors  in  the 

The  two  first  cutters  of  the  Vincennes  and  Peacock  were  therefore 
directed  to  take  up  stations  to  prevent  the  escape  of  any  persons  from 
the  island,  and  before  daylight  Passed  Midshipman  Eld  was  de- 
spatched on  the  same  service  with  the  Leopard. 

The  tender  got  under  way  at  the  same  time,  and  proceeded  towards 
the  spot  I  had  chosen  for  the  place  of  burial. 

The  sun  rose  clearly,  and  nothing  could  look  more  beautiful  and 
peaceful  than  did  the  little  group  of  islands,  as  we  passed  them  in  suc- 
cession on  our  melancholy  errand.  At  the  last  and  largest,  about  ten 
miles  from  Malolo,  we  came  to  anchor.     Dr.  Fox  and  Mr.  Agate  went 

272  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

on  shore  to  select  a  place,  and  dig  a  common  grave  for  both  the  victmis 
About  nine  o'clock  they  came  off,  and  reported  to  me  that  all  was 
ready.  The  bodies  were  now  placed  in  my  gigj  side  by  side,  wrapped 
in  their  country's  flag,  and  I  pulled  on  shore,  followed  by  Mr.  Sinclair 
and  the  officers  in  the  tender's  boat. 

._j*i«-j^  "^ 

Only  twenty  sailors,  (all  dressed  in  white,)  with  myself  and  officers, 
landed  to  pay  this  last  mark  of  affection  and  respect  to  those  who  had 
gone  through  so  many  toils,  and  shared  so  many  dangers  with  us, 
and  of  whom  we  had  been  so  suddenly  bereaved.  The  quiet  of  the 
scene,  the  solemnity  of  the  occasion,  and  the  smallness  of  the  number 
who  assisted,  were  all  calculated  to  produce  an  unbroken  silence. 
The  bodies  were  quietly  taken  up  and  borne  along  to  the  centre  of  the 
island,  where  stood  a  grove  of  ficus  trees,  whose  limbs  were  entwined 
in  all  directions  by  running  vines.  It  was  a  lonely  and  suitable  spot 
that  had  been  chosen,  in  a  shade  so  dense  that  scarce  a  ray  of  the  sun 
could  penetrate  it. 

The  grave  was  dug  deep  in  the  pure  white  sand,  and  sufficiently 
wide  for  the  two  corpses.  Mr.  Agate  read  the  funeral  service  so 
calmly  and  yet  with  such  feeling,  that  none  who  were  present  will  for- 
get the  impression  of  that  sad  half  hour.  After  the  bodies  had  been 
closed  in,  three  volleys  were  fired  over  the  grave.     We  then  used  every 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  273 

precaution  to  erase  all  marks  that  might  indicate  where  these  unfortu- 
nate gentlemen  were  interred.  I  felt  as  if  to  refrain  from  marking  the 
spot  where  they  were  laid,  deprived  us  of  one  of  the  consolations  that 
alleviate  the  loss  of  a  relative  and  friend,  but  was  relieved  when  it  oc- 
curred to  me  to  fix  a  more  enduring  mark  on  that  place,  by  naming 
the  island  after  my  nephew,  "  Henry,"  and  the  pretty  cluster  of  which 
it  forms  one,  "  Underwood  Group." 

Places  remote  from  the  grave  were  now  more  disturbed  by  footsteps 
and  digging  than  the  grave  itself,  and  our  tracks  were  obliterated  from 
the  sand,  leaves  being  thrown  about  to  obscure  all  indications  that 
might  lead  the  wary  savage  to  the  resting-place  of  the  dead. 

We  wandered  about  the  beach  a  short  time,  after  which  we  em- 
barked and  weighed  our  anchor  to  return  to  Malolo.  Shortly  after,  we 
discovered  the  Porpoise  entering  the  Malolo  Passage,  with  whom  we 
soon  joined  company,  and  anchored  again  in  the  bay  on  the  east  side 
of  Malolo  before  dark. 

Preparations  were  now  actively  commenced  to  punish  the  actors  in 
this  foul  deed  ;  the  arms  were  prepared,  and  the  parties  duly  organized 
in  the  course  of  the  night. 

Upon  the  island  there  are  two  towns,  Sualib  and  Arro.  The  former 
was  on  the  southwest  side,  and  the  residence  of  the  principal  actors  in 
the  massacre.  Upon  this  I  intended  to  inflict  the  heaviest  blow.  The 
latter,  whose  inhabitants  had  also  taken  a  part  in  the  tragedy,  and 
whose  unprovoked  hostility  had  been  exhibited  by  their  firing  upon  the 
boats  from  the  mangrove-bushes,  I  determined  to  burn  to  the  ground. 
It  was  also  necessary  to  be  prepared  upon  the  water  to  prevent  any  at- 
tempt at  escape,  or  the  more  desperate  effort  to  capture  the  vessels, 
necessarily  left  under  a  feeble  guard.  The  two  latter  objects  were  con- 
nected, and  for  this  purpose  I  kept  under  my  own  immediate  com- 
mand, my  gig,  the  first  cutters  of  the  Vincennes  and  Peacock,  under 
Lieutenants  Alden  and  Emmons,  and  the  tender's  boat,  under  Midship- 
man Clark. 

The  party  which  was  to  land  and  attack  Sualib,  was  placed  under 
the  orders  of  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold.  It  was  composed 
of  seventy  officers  and  men,  of  the  crews  of  the  Porpoise  and  tender, 
with  a  few  men  from  the  boats,  and  was  arranged  in  three  divisions, 
under  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  himself,  Lieutenants  Johnson 
and  Maury.  To  the  party  were  also  attached  Lieutenant  North, 
Passed  Midshipmen  Sinclair  and  Eld,  with  Assistant-Surgeon  Holmes 
c:nd  Mr.  Agate. 

The  party  had  orders*  after  landing,  to  move  upon  Sualib,  destroy- 

*  For  orders,  see  Appendix  XIII. 
VOL.  Til.  35 


M  A  L  O  L  O. 

ing  all  the  plantations  they  should  meet  on  their  way,  sparing  none  ex- 
cept women  and  children.  They  were  then  to  march  across  the  island 
to  Arro,  and  join  me  for  the  purpose  of  re-embarking.  Acting-Master 
Totten,  who  was  too  unwell  to  assist  in  active  operations  on  shore,  was 
left  in  charge  of  the  brig,  with  such  of  the  crew  as  were  on  the  sick- 
list,  and  had  orders  to  prevent  the  natives  escaping  across  the  channel 
to  Malolo-lailai. 

My  plan  of  attack,  and  the  operations  which  resulted  from  it,  will  be 
understood  by  reference  to  the  annexed  diagram  of  Malolo. 

4       ,  '^R'VJ, 

The  anchor  represents  the  brig's  position.  1.  Place  of  landing.  2.  Boats'  anchorage. 
3.  Position  of  boats  off  Sualib.  4.  Point  where  the  two  canoes  were  captured.  5.  Wliere 
Lieutenant  Emmons  met  the  canoes,  6.  Sand-bank.  7.  Hill  on  which  the  natives  sued 
for  mercy.    -  - Track  of  boats  and  shore  party. 

Tom  Granby,  the  pilot,  with  three  men,  were  left  to  get  the  tender 
under  way,  and  proceed  with  her  to  the  north  side  of  the  island,  to 
cover  our  landing  at  the  town  of  Arro. 

The  parties  were  all  fully  armed,  and  were  provided  with  port-fires, 
and  rockets  ("fiery  spirits"),  which  we  had  found  so  efficient  on  a 
former  occasion. 

Nine  o'clock   in  the  morning  was  the  hour  appointed  for  landing 

M  A  L  0  L  O.  075 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold's  force,  which  was  effected  in 
good  order,  and  the  party  being  arranged  in  its  three  divisions, 
■marched  off.  Before  the  disembarkation  was  effected,  two  natives 
endeavoured  to  pass  over  to  Malolo-lailai,  but  a  well-directed  shot 
from  Mr.  Totten  compelled  them  to  return. 

As  soon  as  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold's  party  had  moved 
off,  two  canoes  were  seen  turning  the  point  of  Malolo-lailai.  I  gave 
immediate  orders  to  chase  and  intercept  them,  when,  if  they  were  from 
any  other  island,  they  were  to  be  directed  to  return  on  their  course,  but 
if  belonging  to  Malolo,  they  were  to  be  captured.  All  the  boats  pulled 
out,  and  Lieutenant  Emmons,  who  took  the  lead,  succeeded  in  cutting 
them  off  from  the  shore.  Through  Oahu  Sam,  he  found  that  they 
belonged  to  Malolo,  and  the  men  in  Lieutenant  Emmons's  boat  were 
so  much  excited  that  they  at  once  fired  several  muskets  into  the 
canoes,  by  which  some  of  the  persons  in  them  were  struck ;  the  rest 
immediately  jumped  overboard,  and  swam  in  various  directions.  By 
this  time  I  had  approached  near  enough  to  order  the  firing  to  cease, 
and  quarter  to  be  given.  The  swimmers  were  then  picked  up.  Among 
them  were  found  one  of  the  chiefs  of  Arro,  the  town  we  were  about  to 
attack,  with  a  woman,  a  girl,  and  an  infant.  I  directed  the  three  last 
to  be  set  on  shore  and  liberated,  telling  them  we  did  not  war  against 
women  and  children.  The  men  I  sent  on  board  the  brig,  to  be  put  in 
irons,  and  had  the  canoes  towed  alongside  of  her. 

I  now  found  that  the  tender  had  grounded  on  the  only  shoal  in  the 
bay,  and  as  the  tide  was  rapidly  falling,  I  knew  it  was  useless  to 
attempt  to  get  her  off.  I  therefore  left  her  with  Tom  Granby,  morti- 
fied at  his  bad  luck,  and  disappointed  in  not  having  to  play  a  conspicu- 
ous part  as  her  commander,  for  which  he  had  evidently  prepared 

The  boats  now  pulled  towards  the  north  end  of  the  island.  As  we 
proceeded  in  that  direction,  towards  the  town  of  Arro,  which  I  now 
intended  to  attack,  we  heard  a  distant  hail  from  the  shore-party,  who 
were  on  the  top  of  the  ridge  of  the  island,  informing  us  that  five  canoes 
were  in  sight  to  the  northwai^d,  standing  for  the  island. 

As  soon  as  we  reached  the  town  of  Arro,  perceiving  no  natives  to 
oppose  us,  I  despatched  Lieutenant  Emmons  to  pull  towards  the 
approaching  canoes  and  intercept  them,  while  with  the  rest  of  the 
boats'  crews  the  town  of  Arro  was  burnt.  In  doing  this  we  met  with 
no  hindrance,  for  although  the  place  was  large,  evidently  populous, 
and  well  fortified  with  a  ditch  and  fence,  it  was  found  deserted.  Many 
of  the  male  inhabitants,  as  I  afterwards  learned,  had  gone  to  Sualib,  to 
aid  in  the  defence  of  that  town,  while  others  had  accompanied  the 

STf)  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

women  and  children  to  the  mountains,  whither  all  their  movable 
property  had  also  been  carried.  This  fact  shows  that  the  islanders 
were  not  ignorant  of  the  consequences  that  were  likely  to  follow  the 
murder  of  our  officers,  and  had  made  timely- preparations  to  resist  our 
attack  on  one  of  the  towns,  and  save  themselves  from  serious  loss  at 
the  other. 

Having  completed  the  destruction  of  Arro,  1  proceeded  in  the  gig 
towards  the  northwest  point  of  the  island,  for  the  purpose  of  joining 
Lieutenant  Emmons,  on  i^ounding  which,  I  observed  the  smoke  of  the 
burning  of  Suahb.  As  I  pulled  around  the  island,  1  saw  many  of 
the  natives  on  the  highest  peaks,  whither  they  had  retreated  for 
safety,  and  others  upon  the  beach,  who,  on  seeing  the  boat,  fled 
towards  the  mountains.  In  pursuit  of  these,  the  "  fiery  spirits,"  were 
frequently  sent,  to  their  great  alarm.  When  I  had  proceeded  far 
enough  to  get  a  view  of  the  bay  in  front  of  Sualib,  neither  boat  nor 
canoes  were  in  sight,  and  I  turned  back,  to  rejoin  the  other  boats 
off  Arro. 

On  reaching  them,  Lieutenant  Alden  reported  that  he  had  executed 
the  orders,  and  had,  at  high  water,  towed  off  or  destroyed  all  the 
canoes.  During  my  absence,  an  old  man  had  ventured  down  to  the 
beach,  with  two  others  in  his  company,  and  made  signs  that  he 
wished  to  speak  with  them.  They  held  a  parley  with  him,  through 
the  interpreter,  and  learned  thai  he  was  the  chief  of  Arro.  He  told 
them  that  he  was  houseless,  had  lost  his  property,  his  son,  and  many 
of  his  people  ;  he  declared  that  his  village  had  nothing  to  do  with  the 
killing  of  the  Papalangis,  and  offering  pigs,  &c.,  as  presents,  begged 
that  we  would  not  punish  him  any  farther. 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold,  with  his  party,  reached  Arro 
just  at  sunset.  His  three  divisions  were  separated  immediately  after 
they  landed,  in  order  to  cover  more  space,  and  more  effectually  to 
destroy  the  plantations.  The  division  under  Lieutenant  Maury  was 
the  fii'st  to  approach  Sualib.  As  soon  as  the  natives  got  sight  of  it, 
they  set  up  shouts  of  defiance.  No  signs  of  fear  were  exhibited,  but 
on  the  contrary,  every  proof  of  a  determination  to  resist. 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold  in  a  short  time  came  up  with 
his  division,  and  on  examining  the  defences  of  the  town,  thought  it 
expedient  to  await  the  arrival  of  Lieutenant  Johnson.  Upon  the  latter 
officer  coming  up,  which  was  shortly  after,  the  three  parties  descended 
the  hill,  and  approached  the  ditch  of  the  town.  The  natives  boldly 
sallied  out  to  meet  them,  with  a  discharge  of  arrows,  and  exhibited 
the  utmost  confidence.  They  in  truth  believed  their  town  to  be  im- 
pregnable, for  it  had  hitherto  withstood  every  attack  made  by  Feejee 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  277 

warriors.  Its  defences  evinced  no  little  skill  in  engineering :  a  ditch 
twelve  feet  wide  and  full  of  mud  and  water,  surrounded  the  whole ; 
next  came  a  strong  palisade,  built  of  cocoa-nut  trunks,  placed  four  or 
five  feet  apart,  among  which  was  here  and  there  a  living  tree;  this 
palisade  was  united  by  a  fence  of  wicker-work,  about  ten  feet  high,  so 
strong  and  dense  as  to  defy  all  attempts  to  penetrate  or  even  see 
through  it ;  inside  of  the  palisade  was  a  second  ditch,  recently  exca- 
vated, the  earth  thrown  up  from  which  formed  a  parapet  about  four 
feet  in  thickness,  and  as  many  in  height.  In  the  ditch  the  defenders 
sheltered  themselves,  and  only  exposed  their  heads  when  they  rose  to 
shoot  through  the  loopholes  left  in  the  palisade.  As  the  whole  party 
continued  to  approach  the  fortification,  our  men  spread  out  so  as  to 
outflank  the  skirmishers,  and  by  a  few  rockets  and  a  shower  of  balls 
showed  them  that  they  had  different  enemies  from  Feejee  men  to  deal 
with.  This  compelled  them  to  retire  within  the  fortification,  and 
abandon  all  on  its  outside  to  destruction.  When  the  skirmishers  had 
retired  into  the  fortress,  all  united  in  loud  shouts  of  lako-mai  (come 
on !),  flourishing  their  spears  and  clubs. 

Our  party  having  approached  within  about  seventy  feet  of  the 
stockade,  opened  its  fire  on  the  fortification.  Now  was  seen,  what 
many  of  those  present  had  not  before  believed,  the  expertness  with 
which  these  people  dodge  a  shot  at  the  flash  of  a  gun.  Those  who 
were  the  most  incredulous  before,  were  now  satisfied  that  they  could 
do  this  effectually. 

For  about  fifteen  minutes  an  obstinate  resistance  was  kept  up  with 
.musketry  and  arrows.  In  this  the  women  and  children  were  as 
actively  engaged  as  the  men,  and  all  made  a  prodigious  clamour. 
After  the  above  time,  the  noise  diminished,  the  defence  slackened,  and 
many  were  seen  to  make  their  escape  from  a  gate  which  was  inten- 
tionally left  unattacked,  carrying  the  dead  and  wounded  on  their 
backs.  A  rocket,  of  which  several  had  already  been  tried  without 
visible  efiect,  now  struck  one  of  the  thatched  roofs ;  a  native  sprung 
up  to' tear  it  off,  but  that  moment  was  his  last,  and  the  roof  immedi- 
ately burst  into  flames.  Upon  this  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ring- 
gold recalled  several  officers  who  were  desirous  of  storming  the  town 
through  its  small  gate,  an  attempt,  which  even  if  successful,  must 
have  been  attended  with  loss  of  life  on  our  part,  and  which  the  suc- 
cess of  the  rocket  practice  rendered  unnecessary.  To  force  the  gate 
would  have  been  a  difficult  operation,  had  it  been  defended  with  the 
least  pertinacity,  for  it  was  constructed  in  the  manner  of  a  fish-w^eir. 
The  natives,  as  has  been  seen,  had,  in  addition  to  their  arrows,  clubs, 
spears,  and  muskets ;  but  the  latter  were  so  unskilfully  handled  as  to 

27  8  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

do  little  damage,  for  they,  as  I  had  before  been  informed  was  their 
practice,  put  charges  into  them  according  to  the  size  of  the  person  they 
intended  to  shoot  at.  They  believe  that  it  requires  a  larger  load  to 
kill  a  large  man  than  it  does  to  kill  a  small  one.  The  bows  and 
arrows  were  for  the  most  part  used  by  the  women. 

The  moment  the  flames  were  found  to  be  spreading,  a  scene  of  con- 
fusion ensued  that  baffles  description.  The  shouts  of  men  were  inter- 
mingled with  the  cries  and  shrieks  of  the  women  and  children,  the 
roaring  of  the  fire,  the  bursting  of  the  bamboos,  and  an  occasional 
volley  of  musketry. 

The  heat  became  so  intense,  that  Lieutenant-Commandant  Ring- 
gold drew  off  the  divisions  to  a  cocoa-nut  grove  in  the  neighbourhood, 
where  he  waited  until  the  conflagration  should  have  exhausted  its  fury. 
After  the  lapse  of  an  hour,  the  whole  town  was  reduced  to  ashes,  and  a 
few  of  the  officers  and  men  were  able,  although  with  difficulty,  to  enter 
within  its  ditch.  It  was  evident  that  large  quantities  of  water  and  pro- 
visions (pigs,  &c.,)  had  been  stored  up,  in  the  anticipation  of  a  long 
siege.  Numerous  clubs,  spears,  bows  and  arrows,  with  several  mus- 
kets, were  picked  up,  together  with  fish-nets,  tapa,  &c.,  and  the  cap  of 
Lieutenant  Underwood.  Only  four  bodies  were  found,  among  whom 
was  that  of  a  child,  which  had  been  seen  during  the  conflagration, 
apparently  deserted,  and  in  a  state  of  danger,  from  which  our  men 
would  gladly  have  relieved  it,  had  it  been  possible. 

Our  party  sustained  but  little  injury.  Only  one  man  was  struck  by 
a  ball,  which,  however,  did  no  other  harm  than  to  tear  his  jacket. 
Several  were  wounded  by  arrows,  but  only  Samuel  Stretch,  quarter- 
gunner,  so  severely  as  to  cause  any  solicitude. 

After  the  destruction  of  the  town,  the  third  division,  under  Lieu- 
tenant Maury,  was  ordered  to  return  to  the  brig,  along  the  beach  of 
the  western  side  of  the  island.  This  route  was  chosen  for  the  sake  of 
the  M'ounded  man,  who  was  unable  to  travel  over  the  hills.  The  first 
and  second  divisions  marched  across  the  island  to  the  town  of  Arro. 
The  officers  describe  the  scene  that  lay  before  them,  when  they  had 
reached  the  highest  part  of  the  ground  that  lay  in  their  route,  as  ex- 
tremely beautiful.  In  the  valley  below  them,  and  on  the  declivities 
of  the  hills,  were  to  be  seen  yam  and  taro-patches  kept  in  the  neatest 
order,  with  the  small  yam-houses  (lololo)  in  the  midst,  surrounded  by 
groves  of  tall  cocoa-trees,  and  plantations  of  bananas.  All  looked 
quiet  and  peaceful,  in  strong  contrast  to  the  exciting  contest  in  which 
they  had  just  been  engaged,  and  the  character  of  the  ruthless  and 
murderous  race  who  had  been  the  occupants  of  the  smiling  valley. 

Lieutenant-Commandant  Ringgold,  with  these  divisions,  reached  the 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  279 

beach  of  Arro  at  sunset,*  when  a  part  of  the  men  were  embarked  in 
the  canoes  and  boats*  Lieutenant  Alden  was  at  once  despatched 
round  the  island  in  the  cutter,  for  the  purpose  of  rendering  assistance 
to  Lieutenant  Maury,  but  he  arrived  too  late  to  be  of  service. 

While  these  transactions  were  taking  place  on  the  island,  the  water 
also  became  the  scene  of  a  conflict.  Lieutenant  Emmons,  who  had 
been  despatched  to  intercept  the  five  canoes,  reported  to  be  seen  from 
the  ridge,  pulled  round  the  island  without  discovering  them.  While 
making  this  circuit  he  fell  in  with  the  party  under  Lieutenant  North, 
and  took  the  wounded  man  into  the  boat,  leaving  one  of  his  eight  in 
his  place.  He  then  pulled  to  the  brig,  where  he  refreshed  his  men, 
and  in  the  afternoon  proceeded  round  Malolo-lailai  to  search  for  the 
canoes,  supposing  they  might  have  escaped  and  been  drawn  up  in  the 
mangrove-bushes.  He  soon,  however,  discovered  the  enemy  poling 
along  on  the  outer  reef  towards  Malolo-lailai.  They  were  somewhat 
separated  when  first  seen,  but  as  he  approached,  the  weathermost 
made  sail  to  leeward  to  join  their  companions,  and  when  they  had 
accomplished  this,  all  struck  their  sails  and  advanced  to  attack  him, 
manoeuvring  together.  In  each  canoe  there  were  about  eight  warriors, 
having  a  kind  of  breastwork  to  protect  them  from  the  shot,  while 
Lieutenant  Emmons's  boat's  crew  consisted  only  of  seven.  After  a 
short  but  severe  contest,  only  one  of  the  canoes  escaped ;  the  others 
were  all  captured,  together  with  their  warriors.  Lieutenant  Emmons 
reached  the  brig,  with  three  of  his  prizes,  a  little  before  midnight. 

Shortly  after  daylight,  a  few  natives  were  seen  on  the  beach  oppo- 
site to  the  tender.  I  had  been  hoping  throughout  the  night  that  some 
overture  would  be  made,  and  at  once  look  my  gig,  with  the  interpreter, 
and  pulled  for  them.  As  we  approached  the  edge  of  the  reef,  which 
was  now  bare,  it  being  low  water,  all  the  men  retired,  leaving  a 
young  native  woman  standing,  with  the  different  articles  near  her 
belonging  to  Lieutenant  Underwood  and  Midshipman  Henry.  She 
held  a  white  cock  in  her  arms,  which  she  was  desirous  of  my  accept- 
ing; but,  believing  it  to  be  an  emblem  of  peace  with  this  people, 
(which  I  found  afterwards  was  the  case,)  I  refused  it,  but  took  the 
other  articles.  I  declined  the  pacific  offering,  because  I  had  no  idea 
of  making  peace  with  them  until  it  should  be  sued  for  after  their  own 
fashion.  I  had  obtained  a  sufficient  knowledge  of  their  manners  and 
customs  to  know  that  it  was  usual  for  them,  when  defeated,  and  at  the 
mercy  of  their  enemies,  to  beg  pardon  and  sue  for  mercy,  before  the 
whole  of  the  attacking  party,  in  order  that  all  might  be  witnesses.     I 

*  For  his  report,  see  Appendix  XIII. 

280  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

also  knew  that  they  never  acknowledged  themselves  conquered  unless 
this  was  done,  and  would  construe  my  failing  to  require  it  of  them 
into  an  admission  that  I  had  not  succeeded  in  overcoming  them. 
Many  messages  were,  indeed,  delivered  to  me  by  this  girl  from  the 
chiefs,  expressive  of  their  sorrow  for  having  attacked  and  killed  our 
little  chiefs ;  but,  in  Feejee  language,  this  amounted  to  nothing ;  and, 
I  was  determined  to  receive  from  them  a  formal  acknowledgment  of 
defeat,  according  to  their  own  mode,  before  I  made  peace  with  them, 
however  anxious  I  was  to  avoid  any  more  bloodshed.  I  therefore  sent 
the  chiefs  and  people  a  message  that  they  must  come  and  beg  pardon 
and  sue  for  mercy,  before  all  our  warriors,  on  a  hill  that  I  pointed  out, 
on  the  south  end  of  the  island,  saying  that  I  should  land  there  in  a  little 
Vi^hile  to  receive  them,  and  that  if  they  did  not  come  they  must  be 
responsible  for  the  consequences. 

At  about  eight  o'clock  I  went  on  board  the  Porpoise,  where  I  had 
in  confinement  a  chief  of  Arro  and  some  of  his  followers,  in  order 
that  the  fears  of  the  people  of  the  island  might  not  induce  them  to 
neglect  the  opportunity  of  asking  for  peace,  and  knowing  that  this 
chief  would  have  great  influence  in  bringing  about  the  result  I  desired. 
1  had  an  interview  with  him  in  the  cabin.  The  first  question  I  put  to 
him  startled  him  not  a  little  :  it  was,  whether  he  could  trust  his  life  in 
the  hands  of  any  of  his  people  that  were  on  board  with  him  ;  for  it 
was  my  intention  to  send  a  messenger  from  among  those  natives  on 
board  to  the  chiefs  and  people  of  the  island,  and  if  he  did  not  execute 
it  and  return  at  the  appointed  time,  I  should  shoot  him.  His  eyes  grew 
very  large,  he  hesitated,  and  then  spoke  very  quickly.  At  last  he  said, 
"  Yes ;"  but  that  he  would  like  the  two  younger  boys  to  be  sent,  as 
they  were  the  best  and  most  trustworthy.  My  object  was  now  fully 
explained  to  him ;  and  after  he  thoroughly  understood  the  penalty  both 
to  himself  and  the  people  of  the  island,  he  entered  warmly  into  my 
views,  as  he  perceived  that  by  so  doing  he  would  at  once  regain  his 
own  liberty,  and  save  his  island  from  farther  devastation. 

The  boys,  who  were  respectively  about  fifteen  and  seventeen  years 
of  age,  were  then  called  into  the  cabin.  I  took  two  reeds,  and  repeated, 
through  the  interpreter,  the  messages,  which  the  chief  took  great  pains 
to  make  them  understand.  They  were  to  this  effect :  that  the  whole 
of  the  natives  of  the  island  should  come  to  me  by  the  time  the  sun  was 
overhead,  to  beg  pardon  and  sue  for  mercy ;  and  that  if  they  did  not 
do  so,  they  must  expect  to  be  exterminated.  This  being  fully  under- 
stood by  the  boys,  they  were  landed,  the  chief  having  previously  assured 
them  that  his  life  depended  on  their  good  conduct  and  haste  in  executing 
their  charge. 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  281 

Every  thing  was  now  prepared,  agreeably  to  the  orders  of  the  night 
before,  and  the  whole  force  was  landed ;  but  instead  of  moving  on  to 
make  farther  devastation  and  destruction,  we  ascended  the  eastern 
knoll.  This  is  covered  with  a  beautiful  copse  of  casuarina  trees, 
resembling  somewhat  the  pines  of  our  own  country.  Here  we  took 
our  station,  and  remained  from  about  ten  in  the  morning  till  four 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon. 

The  day  was  perfectly  serene,  and  the  island,  which,  but  a  few  hours 
before,  had  been  one  of  the  loveliest  spots  in  creation,  was  now  entirely 
laid  waste,  showing  the  place  of  the  massacre,  the  ruined  town,  and  the 
devastated  plantations.  The  eye  wandered  over  the  dreary  waste  to 
the  beautiful  expanse  of  waters  beyond  and  around,  with  the  long  lines 
of  white  sparkling  reefs,  until  it  rested,  far  in  the  distance,  on  the  small 
green  spot  where  we  had  performed  the  last  rites  to  our  murdered 
companions.  A  gentle  breeze,  which  was  blowing  through  the  casua- 
rina trees,  gave  out  the  moaning  sound  that  is  uttered  by  the  pines  of 
our  own  country,  producing  a  feeling  of  depression  inseparable  from 
the  occasion,  and  bringing  vividly  to  my  thoughts  the  sad  impression 
which  this  melancholy  and  dreadful  occuirreince  would  bring  upon 
those  who  were  far  away. 

Towards  four  o'clock,  the  sound  of  dfistarlt  wailings  was  heard, 
which  gradually  drew  nearer  and  rie'are'r.  At  the  same  time,  the 
natives  were  seen  passing  over  the'  bills  towatrds  us,  giving  an  effect 
to  the  whole  scene  which  will  be'  long  borrie  in  my  memory.  They 
at  length  reached  the  foot  of  the  hill,  but  would  come  no  farther,  until 
assured  that  their  petition  would  be  received.  On  receiving  this 
assurance,  they  wound  upwsird,  and  in  a  short  time,  about  forty  men 
appeared,  crouching  on  their  bands  and  knees,  and  occasionally  stop- 
ping to  utter  piteous  moalns  afnd  wailings.  When  within  thirty  feet 
of  us,  they  stopped,  and  an  old  man,  their  leader,  in  the  most  piteous 
manner,  begged  pardon,  supplicating  forgiveness,  and  pledging  that 
they  would  never  do  the  like  again  to  a  white  man.  He  said,  that 
they  acknowledged  themselves  conquered,  and  that  the  island  belonged 
to  us  ;  that  they  were  our  slaves,  a!nd  would  do  whatever  I  desired ;  that 
they  had  lost  every  thing ;  tha't  the  two  great  chiefs  of  the  island,  and 
all  their  best  warriors  hald  been  killed,  all  their  provisions  destroyed, 
and  their  houses  burned.  They  acknowledged  a  loss  of  fifty-seven 
killed.  Whether  the  twenty-five  that  were  opposed  to  Lieutenant. 
Emmons  were  included  in  this  number,  I  know  not,  but  I  am  rather 
inclined  to  believe  that  they  were ;  for  accounts  subsequently  received, 
give  the  same  number.  They  declared  that  they  were  now  convinced 
that  they  never  codd  make  war  against  the  white  men  (Papalangis)  ; 

VOL.  III.  Y2  36 

282  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

and  that  they  had  brought  two  of  the  chief's  daughters  as  a  present  for 
the  great  chief.  During  the  whole  time  that  the  old  man  was  speaking, 
they  all  remained  bent  down  with  their  heads  to  the  ground. 

I  asked  them  many  questions,  and,  among  others,  what  had  induced 
them  to  murder  the  little  chiefs.  They  acknowledged  that  the  officers 
had  done  them  no  harm,  and  confessed  that  they  had  been  killed  with- 
out the  slightest  cause.  They  stated  that  all  the  murderers  were  slain, 
and  that  the  act  was  planned  and  executed  by  the  people  of  Sualib, 
none  of  whom  were  then  present,  or  could  be  found ;  and  said  that  the 
persons  present  were  the  only  ones  uninjured.  Some  of  the  officers 
believed  that  they  recognised  several  of  them  as  having  been  in  the 
fight.  I  then,  through  the  interpreter,  dwelt  upon  the  atrocity  of  their 
crime,  and  pointed  out  to  them  how  justly  we  were  offended  with  them, 
and  how  much  they  deserved  the  punishment  they  had  received.  I 
told  them  they  might  consider  themselves  fortunate  that  we  did  not 
exterminate  them  ;  and  farther  assured  them,  that  if  ever  a  like  act 
was  committed,  or  any  aggression  on  the  whites  again  took  place,  the 
most  terrible  punishment  would  await  them  ;  that  we  did  not  wish  to 
do  them  any  harm,  but  came  among  them  as  friends,  and  wished  to 
be  treated  as  such ;  that  they  must  now  see  the  folly  of  opposing  us,  as 
they  had  lost  their  best  warriors,  while  we  had  not  lost  one ;  that  we 
never  fought  against  women  or  children,  and  never  received  any  gifts 
or  presents  ;  that  I  granted  them  pardon,  but  they  must  do  as  I  was 
about  to  direct  them. 

I  then  told  them,  that  to-morrow,  very  early,  they  must  all  come  to 
the  town  of  Arro  unarmed,  and  bring  back  every  article  they  had  taken 
from  the  officers,  with  what  provisions  they  could  gather,  and  that 
they  would  be  employed  to  bring  water  for  the  vessels.  This  was  ac- 
cording to  their  customs,  that  the  conquered  should  do  work  for  the 

They  readily  assented  to  all  these  demands,  but  said  that  many  of 
the  articles  belonging  to  the  little  chiefs  must  have  been  destroyed  by 
fire,  and  that  they  knew  not  where  to  obtain  them,  or  where  to  find 
any  thing  to  eat.  I  knew  that  the  last  assertion  was  false,  as  I  had 
seen  many  plantations  on  the  northwest  side  of  the  island  which  had 
not  suflered,  and  remained  untouched.  I  therefore  told  them  they 
must  comply  with  all  they  had  been  ordered  to  do. 

They  were  then  dismissed,  and  instantly  vanished  from  before  us. 
Orders  were  now  given  to  embark,  and  we  reached  the  vessels  at 

I  had  great  reason  to  be  satisfied  with  the  result  of  this  day's  pro- 
ceedings ;    for  I  felt,  that  after  administering  to  the  savages   a   very 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  'JS3 

severe  punishment,  I  had  probably  effected  the  desirable  end  of  pre- 
venting any  further  bloodshed. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  the  28th,  the  tender  and  brig  got  under 
way,  and  anchored  off  the  town  of  Arro,  where  the  natives,  to  the 
number  of  seventy,  came  down  to  the  beach,  with  every  appearance 
of  humility,  to  cai'ry  into  effect  the  terms  we  had  made  with  them. 
The  water-bags  and  breakers  were  given  to  them  to  fill  and  bring  to 
the  beach  for  the  boats.  They  found  this  very  hard  work,  and  often 
expressed  themselves  to  the  interpreters,  who  were  with  the  officers  at- 
tending to  the  duty,  that  it  would  have  been  as  well  for  them  to  have 
been  killed  in  battle  as  to  die  of  hard  work.  They  toiled  thus  until 
nearly  sunset,  and  procured  about  three  thousand  gallons  of  water  for 
us.  They  also  brought  twelve  good-sized  pigs  for  the  crews,  some 
yams,  and  about  three  thousand  cocoa-nuts. 

Among  the  articles  restored,  was  the  silver  watch  of  Lieutenant  Un- 
dervN'ood,  almost  entirely  melted  up,  and  a  piece  of  the  eye-glass  of 
Midshipman  Henry. 

When  I  went  on  shore,  I  saw  the  chief  and  about  twenty  of  the  old 
men,  who  were  not  able  to  take  part  in  the  work.  T  had  a  long  talk 
with  them,  through  the  interpreter,  and  explained  to  them  that  they  had 
brought  this  trouble  upon  themselves.  I  pointed  out,  particularly,  that 
the  blow  had  fallen  upon  the  town  of  Arro,  as  well  as  upon  that  of 
Sualib,  because  its  inhabitants  had  fired  at  the  boats  from  the  man- 
grove-bushes, which  was  wrong ;  and  if  it  occurred  again,  or  they 
ever  molested  the  Papalangis,  they  would  meet  with  exemplary  punish- 
ment. They  all  listened  with  great  attention,  and  said  it  should  never 
occur  again,  and  that  when  any  Papalangis  came  to  their  island,  they 
would  do  every  thing  for  them,  and  treat  them  as  friends  and  children. 

At  evening,  I  had  the  chief  who  was  our  prisoner  brought  up  and 
liberated.  He  had  now,  from  the  death  of  the  one  at  Sualib,  become 
the  highest  chief  of  the  island.  I  gave  him  good  advice,  and  assured 
him,  that  if  he  allowed  any  white  man  to  be  injured,  he  would  sooner 
or  later  be  punished.  He  promised  me,  that  as  long  as  he  lived  they 
should  always  be  treated  as  friends  and  children ;  that  he  would  be  the 
first  to  befriend  them ;  that  he  now  considered  the  island  as  belonging 
to  the  Papalangis ;  that  he  had  noted  all  that  I  had  said  ;  that  it  was 
good,  and  he  would  be  very  careful  to  observe  it ;  that  he  would,  if  he 
had-  no  canoe,  swim  off  to  the  white  people's  ships  to  do  them  all  the 
service  in  his  power ;  and  that  his  people  should  do  so  also.  He  was 
then,  with  the  natives  who  had  been  captured,  put  on  shore.  When 
they  landed,  the  whole  population  were  heard  crying  and  wailing  over 
him  at  his  return. 

284  MALOLO. 

The  above  are  all  the  important  facts  relative  to  this  tragical  affair, 
both  to  the  natives  and  ourselves.  I  feel  little  disposed  to  cast  blanne 
any  where,  but  it  must  be  apparent  that  if  the  precautions  directed  in 
the  orders  given  for  the  conduct  of  the  officers  on  boat  duty  had  been 
adhered  to,  this  misfortune  would  not  hav^e  occurred.  It  is  therefore 
to  be  regretted,  that  a  strict  regard  had  not  been  paid  to  these  orders, 
and  that  care  and  watchfulness  to  preserve  and  keep  all  on  their  guard 
had  not  been  constantly  manifested.  It  is  difficult  to  imagine  how 
some  of  the  officers  should,  in  spite  of  all  warnings,  have  indulged  an 
over-confidence  in  the  peaceable  disposition  and  good  intentions  of  the 
natives ;  and  it  is  still  more  surprising  that  this  should  have  been  the 
case  with  Lieutenant  Alden,  who  had  charge  of  the  party  for  the  time 
being,  and  who  had  frequently  expressed  himself  satisfied,  and  had  also 
warned  others,  that  the  natives  of  Malolo  were  not  to  be  trusted.  This 
opinion  was  not  adopted  by  him  without  good  grounds ;  for  on  his 
former  visit,  about  six  weeks  before,  they  had  shown  a  disposition  to 
cut  off  the  launch  and  first  cutter,  of  which  he  was  then  in  charge. 
There  was  no  absolute  necessity  for  obtaining  provisions,  and  still  less 
for  his  allowing  Lieutenant  Underwood  to  remain  an  hour  and  a  half 
on  shore,  chaffering  for  two  or  three  pigs,  when  they  knew  the  tender 
was  in  sight,  and  that  she  would  reach  the  place  of  rendezvous  before 

The  whole  of  this  afflicting  tragedy  I  cannot  but  believe  grew  out 
of  a  want  of  proper  care  and  watchfulness  over  the  hostage,  after  he 
had  shown  a  disposition  to  escape,  and  a  heedlessness  that  it  is  impos- 
sible to  look  at  without  astonishment.  The  hostage  certainly  would 
never  have  attempted  to  escape,  had  there  been  a  proper  guard  kept 
over  him  while  in  the  boat;  and  from  the  evidence  of  all  those  who 
were  on  shore,  it  appears  certain  that  no  disturbance  took  place  until 
the  escape  was  made. 

I  am  well  aware,  that  all  the  officers  and  men  present  were  not  at 
the  time  satisfied  with  the  punishment  inflicted.  Many  of  them  even 
thought  that  all  in  any  way  concerned  in  the  murder  ought  to  have 
been  put  to  death. 

But  I  felt  then  as  I  do  now,  that  the  punishment  was  sufficient  and 
effectual,  while  it  was  accompanied,  as  far  as  it  could  be,  with  mercy. 
Some,  no  doubt,  will  look  upon  it  as  unnecessarily  severe ;  but  if  they 
duly  considered  the  wanton  murders  that  have  been  committed  on -the 
whites  in  this  group  of  islands,  merely  to  gratify  the  desire  of  plunder 
or  the  horrid  appetite  for  cannibal  repasts,  they  would  scarcely  think 
the  punishment  too  severe. 

The  warriors  of  this  island  were  looked  upon  as  a  nest  of  pirates 

MALOLO.  285 

even  by  the  rest  of  the  group,  and  had  their  great  crime  been  suffered 
to  go  unpunished,  would  in  all  probability  have  become  more  fearless 
and  daring  than  ever. 

The  blow  I  inflicted  not  only  required  to  be  done  promptly  and 
effectually,  as  a  punishment  for  the  murder  of  my  officers,  but  was 
richly  deserved  for  other  outrages.  It  could  not  have  fallen  upon  any 
place  where  it  would  have  produced  as  much  effect,  in  impressing  the 
whole  group  with  a  full  sense  of  our  power  and  determination  to 
punish  such  aggressions. 

Such  has  been  its  effect  on  the  people  of  Malolo,  that  they  have 
since  been  found  the  most  civil,  harmless,  and  well-disposed  natives  of 
the  group. 

Notwithstanding  that  the  opinion  of  all  the  officers  who  were  present 
and  cognizant  of  all  the  facts  was,  that  I  had  not  gone  far  enough  in 
the  punishment  I  had  inflicted,  I  found  myself  charged  on  my  return 
by  the  administration,  as  guilty  of  murder,  and  of  acting  on  this  occa- 
sion in  a  cruel,  merciless,  and  tyrannical  manner.  To  make  out  the 
latter  charge,  it  was  alleged  that  I  had  made  the  natives  actually 
crawl  to  my  feet  to  beg  pardon.  The  part  of  the  whole  affair  for 
which  I  take  some  credit  to  myself  is,  that  when  I  judged  it  had 
become  necessary  to  punish,  it  was  in  like  manner  obligatory  on  me  to 
study  how  it  could  be  done  most  effectually ;  and  from  the  knowledge 
I  had  obtained  of  the  customs  of  the  natives,  during  the  time  I  had 
been  engaged  in  the  group,  I  was  enabled  to  perform  this  painful 
though  necessary  duty,  in  a  manner  that  made  it  vastly  more  effectual, 
by  requiring  of  them  their  own  forms  of  submission,  and  their  own 
modes  of  acknowledging  defeat. 

All  the  facts  of  the  case  are  before  my  countrymen,  and  they  will 
be  able  to  judge  whether  I  should,  for  my  conduct  in  the  punishment 
of  this  atrocious  massacre,  have  been  arraigned  on  a  charge  of 
murder,  and  of  acting  in  a  cruel,  merciless,  and  tyrannical  manner, 
and  this  without  any  previous  inquiry  into  the  facts  or  motives  that 
led  to  my  actions,  and  merely  on  the  report  of  a  few  discontented  offi- 
cers of  the  squadron,  whom  the  good  of  the  service  compelled  me  to 
send  back  to  the  United  States.  These  grave  charges  were  not  made 
known  to  me  until  two  days  before  the  court  was  convened  for  my 
trial  upon  them. 

While  I  am  unable  to  refrain  from  stating  wherein  I  consider  some 
of  the  officers  blamable,  I  must  mention  with  high  praise  the  promp- 
titude with  which  the  bodies  were  saved  from  ministering  to  the 
cannibal  appetites  of  the  murderers. 

The  punishment  inflicted  on  the  natives  was  no  doubt  severe ;  but  1 

28G  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

cannot  view  it  as  unmerited,  and  the  extent  to  which  it  was  carried 
was  neither  dictated  by  cruelty  nor  revenge.  I  thought  that  they  had 
been  long  enough  allowed  to  kill  and  eat  with  impunity,  every  defence- 
less white  that  fell  into  their  hands,  either  by  accident  or  misfortune, 
and  that  it  was  quite  time,  as  their  intercourse  with  our  countrymen 
on  their  adventurous  voyages  was  becoming  more  frequent,  to  make 
the  latter  more  secure.  I  desired  to  teach  the  savages  that  it  was  not 
weakness  or  fear  that  had  thus  far  stayed  our  hands ;  and  was  aware, 
too,  that  they  had  ridiculed  and  misunderstood  the  lenity  with  which 
they  had  heretofore  been  treated  both  by  the  French  and  English  men- 

During  the  night  I  found  it  would  be  impossible  for  the  boats  to 
proceed,  and  I  felt  little  inclined  to  run  the  risk  of  another  accident 
through  want  of  care  and  necessary  precaution  in  dealing  with  the 
natives.  I  therefore  determined  on  sending  them  back  to  the  ship  by 
as  direct  a  route  as  possible,  and  ordered  them  to  make  the  best  of 
their  way  to  Muthuata,  proceeding  first  to  the  Annan  Islands,  thence 
across  to  Mbua  Bay  and  along  the  north  shore  of  Vanua-levu.  They 
arrived  at  Muthuata  on  the  31st  day  of  July,  bearing  the  sad  news  of 
the  events  at  Malolo. 

Remaining  myself  in  the  tender,  I  proceeded,  with  the  Porpoise  in 
company,  to  the  Vitilevu  shore,  intending  to  pass  out  of  the  Malolo 
Passage ;  but  we  found  the  flood  setting  so  strong,  that  we  were  com,- 
pelled  to  anchor  under  the  Navula  Reef,  where  we  lay  until  the  tide 
changed,  employing  ourselves  looking  over  the  extensive  reef  for  shells, 
and  observing  to  fix  and  prove  the  survey  of  the  passage.  The  opening 
through  the  great  reef  here,  which  I  have  called  the  Navula  Passage, 
is  very  remarkable ;  it  has  for  portals  two  small  islands  of  nearly  the 
same  size,  which  I  have  named  Waldron  and  Spieden,  after  the  pursers 
of  the  Expedition,  between  which  the  tide  rushes  with  great  strength. 
The  great  sea-reef  appears  to  have  been  here  broken  asunder  by  some 
convulsion  of  nature,  and  the  rushing  tide  has  entirely  swept  the 
fragments  away,  leaving  a  fine  open  passage  between  the  two  islands 
of  a  mile  in  width.  This  may  be  termed  the  lee  reef  of  these  islands. 
Few  things  are  more  remarkable  than  the  extent  of  these  zoophytic 
formations;  and  the  variety  of  their  shapes,  direction,  and  configu- 
ration, seem  to  put  all  speculation  at  defiance.  Although  I  had  often, 
in  sailing  over  them  in  my  boat,  been  impressed  with  the  beautiful  ap- 
pearances they  exhibited,  I  thought  this  day  they  excelled  any  I  had 
before  seen,  and  had  a  still  closer  resemblance  to  a  rich  parterre  of 
flowers.  T  could  scarcely  realize  the  fact,  that  objects  so  essentially 
dilTerent  could,  by  any  means  or  in  any  way,  be  made  to  resemble 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  287 

each  other.  At  times  my  gig's  crew  have  called  my  attention  to  them 
on  either  hand,  as  we  drifted  slowly  over  these  broad  reefs,  which  are 
not  only  decked  with  the  rocky  habitation  of  these  industrious  litho- 
phytes,  but  innumerable  fancifully  coloured  fish  of  all  shapes  and  sizes 
find  shelter  around  and  beneath  them.  The  water  is  so  limpid  as  to 
make  the  smallest  marking  and  lightest  shades,  not  only  of  the  fish  but 
of  the  corals  themselves,  perfectly  distinct. 

Towards  sunset,  the  tide  having  ceased  to  flow,  both  vessels  got 
under  way  and  beat  through  the  Navula  Passage.  This  has  nearly 
the  shape  of  an  elbow,  and  ought  not  to  be  attempted  with  a  contrary 
wind,  as  there  would  not  be  room  to  beat  through,  except  in  a  small 
vessel.  We  reached  the  open  sea  before  it  was  quite  dark,  and  began 
beating  to  the  eastward  along  the  Vitilevu  shore. 

Finding,  during  the  morning  of  the  30th,  that  the  brig  detained  me, 
I  determined  on  parting  company,  and  sent  orders  to  her  to  repair  to 
Ovolau,  observe  for  chronometer  sights  at  Observatory  Point,  procure 
a  large  quantity  of  yams,  and  thence  proceed  to  Muthuata  to  join  the 
rest  of  the  squadi'on.  By  the  Porpoise  I  sent  orders  to  Captain  Hudson 
to  have  every  thing  ready  for  sea  by  the  10th  of  August,  as  I  believed 
that  the  remaining  duties  might  be  performed  by  that  time,  and  in- 
formed him  that  I  would  join  the  squadron  at  Mali  Island,  intending  to 
leave  the  group  through  the  Mali  Passage. 

This  southwest  coast  of  Vitilevu  had  already  been  examined  in  the 
boats,  under  Lieutenant  Emmons,  as  I  have  before  mentioned.  No- 
thing was  left  to  be  performed  for  the  completion  of  this  survey;  1, 
therefore,  when  opposite  the  situation  of  Vatulele,  put  over  the  patent 
log  and  ran  for  it,  by  which  method  I  found  its  distance  from  Vitilevu 
to  be  eighteen  miles. 

We  remained  all  night  under  Vatulele,  and  in  the  mornins:  besran 
the  survey  of  its  east  side,  the  Peacock  having  already  completed  its 
western  shore. 

Vatulele  has  the  appearance  of  a  raised  coral  island,  although  it  is 
not  so,  but  is  of  volcanic  formation.  The  north  part  of  this  island  is 
about  seventy  feet  above  the  sea  level,  and  is  composed  of  strata  of 
reddish  clay  and  sandstone,  lying  nearly  in  horizontal  layers,  and 
closely  resembling  the  red  cliffs  of  Vitilevu  opposite  to  it.  It  gradu- 
ally descends  to  a  low  point  at  its  southern  end.  There  is  no  more 
than  a  narrow  shore-reef  on  its  western  side,  but  on  the  eastern  shore 
a  reef  extends  off  two  or  three  miles,  forming  a  kind  of  bow  from  the 
south  to  the  north  end  of  the  island.  There  was  no  opening  in  the  t-eef 
except  for  boats,  and  near  its  north  end  it  enclosed  several  small  islets. 

288  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

which  bear  the  names  of  the  midshipmen  of  the  squadron.  Vatulele  is 
well  covered  with  wood,  and  is  inhabited. 

After  having  finished  the  examination  of  Vatulele,  we  shaped  our 
course  for  Mbenga,  and  at  noon  discovered  a  coral  reef  extending  about 
three  hundred  yards  north  and  south,  by  one  hundred  and  fifty  east 
and  west.  It  is  awash,  and  bears  from  the  south  point  of  Vatulele 
east-by-north,  distant  seven  miles.  After  getting  angles  on  Mbenga 
Peak  and  Vatulele,  and  obtaining  chronometer  sights,  we  left  this 
small,  though  dangerous  spot,  which  I  have  called  Flying-Fish 
Shoal.  We  passed  the  night  under  the  extensive  reef  that  surrounds 
Mbenga,  not  being  able  to  find  the  entrance,  as  the  night  was  ex- 
tremely dark. 

In  the  morning  early  we  stood  over  for  Kantavu,  to  survey  its  north 
side,  and  reached  it  in  time  to  secure  the  latitude  close  to  the  point  of 
its  reef  oft'  Malatta  Bay,  which  I  found  to  be  in  18°  58'  34"  S.  The 
distance  from  Mbenga  Reef  was  found  to  be  twenty-six  miles  by  the 
patent  log,  in  a  southeast-by-south  direction.  We  then  anchored  in 
its  harbour,  formed  by  the  coral  reefs,  which  only  exist  to  any  extent 
about  this  part,  where  the  island  is  almost  divided  in  two.  So  low 
and  narrow  is  the  isthmus,  that  the  natives  frequently  transport  their 
canoes  over  it. 

Many  natives  came  oflT,  but  they  were  not  willing  to  trust  themselves 
on  board  when  they  understood  who  we  were. 

The  whole  length  of  Kantavu  is  high  and  mountainous,  with  the 
exception  of  a  small  part  of  its  centre,  near  Malatta  Bay.  This  bay 
was  surveyed ;  it  is  small,  and  offers  safety  to  a  few  vessels  for  tem- 
porary anchorage,  although  it  is  difficult  to  chose  a  place  for  the 
purpose,  on  account  of  several  reefs  that  lie  across  it.  The  Flying- 
Fish  was  anchored  in  sixteen  fathoms,  sandy  bottom.  I  now  esta- 
blished, from  several  bases,  all  the  peaks  and  points  for  our  surveying 
operations  the  next  day. 

Many  canoes  came  off  to  us  before  we  anchored,  but  we  could  not 
persuade  the  people  to  come  on  board,  as  long  as  we  were  under  way ; 
they  said  we  might  carry  them  ofi';  but  on  our  anchoring  they  came 
alongside,  bringing  a  few  yams,  pigs,  &c.,  which  they  sold  cheap. 

A  chief  coming  ofl^,  we  succeeded  in  getting  him  on  board,  and 
induced  him  to  remain  and  send  his  canoe  for  provisions.  He  was 
a  remarkably  fine-looking  man,  and  extremely  intelligent,  having 
strongly  marked  Jewish  features.  He  counted  forty-five  towns  on 
Kantavu,  which  would  make  its  population  upwards  of  ten  thousand. 

The  island  is  well  covered  with  pine  timber,  resembling  the  Kaurie 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  28D 

pine  of  New  Zealand,  and  most  of  the  large  canoes  used  in  the  Feejco 
Islands  are  built  here.  The  chief  informed  me  that  he  would  for 
three  muskets  get  me,  in  three  days,  trees  large  enough  to  make 
masts  for  the  tender.  These  were  fourteen  inches  in  diameter,  and 
sixty  feet  in  length,  or  large  enough  for  topmasts  of  a  ship  of  seven 
hundred  tons.     It  takes  them  eight  moons  to  build  a  canoe. 

The  people  of  Kantavu  are  industrious,  and  the  chief  said  they 
had  abundance  of  provisions,  of  which,  if  I  would  stay  over  the  next 
day,  he  would  bring  me  any  quantity  I  desired.  After  making  inquiry 
about  Vendovi,  he  said  that  the  people  of  Kantavu  were  glad  he  had 
been  taken  away,  for  he  was  continually  making  exactions  on  them 
for  all  kinds  of  articles,  under  his  authority  of  vasu. 

The  chief  said  there  were  no  harbours  on  the  south  side  of  the 
island,  and  that  they  sometimes  transported  their  canoes  over  the 
narrow  neck  to  visit  that  shore,  but  it  was  a  very  rough  place,  and 
too  much  exposed  to  the  sea  to  be  safe  for  canoes.  This  island,  as  it 
has  been  before  mentioned,  is  tributary  to  Rewa.  Most  frequently 
the  annual  tribute  is  paid  in  canoes,  except  when  the  king  of  Rewa 
designates  otherwise. 

Many  whale-ships  stop  here  for  supplies ;  these  are  principally 
English,  belonging  to  Sydney,  who  seldom  go  to  the  north  of  these 
islands.  The  natives  reported  that  they  had  seen  eight  within  two 
moons.  The  bay  they  generally  frequent  is  one  to  the  westward  of 
Malatta,  called  Tabuca.  On  this  bay  there  is  quite  a  large  settlement 
of  the  same  name,  and  it  was  reported  by  the  chief  as  having  ample 
supplies.  Anchorage  may  be  had  oft'  the  town  in  fifteen  fathoms 
water,  with  sandy  bottom.     It  is  a  very  picturesque  spot. 

According  to  the  pilot's  account  of  the  Kantavu  people,  they  are 
not  to  be  trusted,  being  prone  to  acts  of  violence,  which  they  can 
commit  with  impunity,  as  tney  have  always  a  secure  retreat  from 
their  enemies,  in  the  mountain  districts.  Boats  and  crews,  if  not  on 
their  guard  here,  are  frequently  detained  until  they  are  ransomed  ; 
so  that  it  behooves  all  who  visit  and  wish  to  deal  with  these  people, 
to  be  exceedingly  cautious. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  the  3d  of  August,  we  got  under  way,  and 
stood  along  the  island  of  Kantavu,  to  its  western  end.  The  distance 
from  Malatta  Bay  thither  was  found  by  patent  log  to  be  six  miles. 
After  reaching  this  point,  we  hove  about  under  the  Peak  of  Kantavu, 
which  is  a  dome  of  large  dimensions,  and  has  the  appearance  of  being 
an  extinct  crater,  similar  to  those  we  have  observed  at  the  other  groups. 
Having  several  remarkable  peaks  fixed,  we  were  enabled  to  make  a 
good  running  survey.     The  most  northern  coral  shoal  is  oft"  Malatta 

VOL.  III.  z  37 

290  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

Bay,  and  it  is  the  only  place  where  there  is  any  detached  reef  off  the 
■whole  length  of  the  northern  shore  of  the  island.  We  found  the 
island  to  be  twenty-five  miles  in  length.  At  one  o'clock  we  had 
reached  its  eastern  end,  off  which  lies  Ono,  a  round  island  with  two 
villages  on  it. 

Ono  is  about  eighty  feet  high,  and  between  it  and  Kantavu  there  is 
a  good  and  well-protected  harbour.  It  was  near  Ono  that  the  brig 
Charles  Doggett  was  cut  off  by  the  chief  Vendovi. 

To  the  north  is  a  cluster  of  rocky  islets,  which,  finding  without 
names,  I  have  designated  by  those  of  the  passed  midshipmen  belonging 
to  the  squadron.  They  are  all  situated  in  the  great  Astrolabe  Reef, 
called  after  the  name  of  that  ship,  in  consequence  of  her  remarkable 
escape  from  shipwreck  on  its  eastern  side.  From  Ono  it  trends  nearly 
north.  On  its  east  side  it  is  quite  unbroken,  and  extends  in  a  sweep 
round  Ono,  until  it  joins  Kantavu ;  on  the  west  side  it  is  much  broken, 
and  has  several  safe  passages  through  to  the  Passed  Midshipmen 
Islands.  These  are  eleven  in  number,  and  under  some  of  them  there 
is  good  anchorage.  A  few  of  these  islands  yield  cocoa-nuts,  but  there 
are  no  inhabitants  except  on  Ono.  The  length  of  the  Astrolabe  Reef, 
fi'om  Ono  to  its  northern  point,  is  ten  miles ;  near  the  northern  point  is 
a  remarkable  rock,  which  is  seen  very  distinctly  from  all  directions. 
At  the  northern  point  of  the  reef  is  a  clear  passage  through  it.  The 
water  inside  appears  as  blue  as  the  ocean,  and  is  doubtless  very  deep. 
Whales  were  seen  sporting  within  the  reef. 

This  reef  is  not  only  dangerous  from  its  extent,  but  on  account  of 
the  strong  currents  which  prevail  here,  which  for  the  most  part  set  to 
the  eastward. 

From  the  point  of  the  reef  the  high  land  of  Vitilevu  and  Mbenga 
can  be  seen.  It  was  just  sunset  when  we  left  it,  and  stood  on  a  north- 
by-east  course,  intending  to  make  the  reef  off  Nasilai  Point.  After 
running  thirty-one  miles,  we  came  up  with  it,  and  found  that  we  were 
obliged  to  make  two  short  tacks  to  get  far  enough  to  the  eastward  to 
clear  it,  after  doing  which  we  arrived  off  Ovolau  at  2  a.  m.  Notwith- 
standing the  darkness,  we  passed  in  and  anchored  near  the  Porpoise. 

On  the  4th,  I  was  engaged  until  late  in  the  afternoon  observing  for 
time,  in  order  to  verify  the  meridian  distances  between  Ovolau  and 
those  places  at  which  I  had  again  observed,  and  to  ascertain  if  any 
change  had  taken  place  in  the  rates  of  my  chronometers  within  the 
last  five  weeks.  The  proof  of  their  correct  performance  was  most 

Levuka  looked  almost  deserted,  in  comparison  with  what  it  had 
been  during  our   stay  there.      Tui  Levuka   received   me  with  much 

MALOLO,  291 

hospitality.  I  toolc  a  look  at  the  garden  we  had  planted,  and  found 
that  many  of  the  vegetables  had  already  gone  to  seed,  which  the 
white  man,  George,  had  gathered ;  but  it  wanted  weeding,  which  they 
promised  me  should  be  done,  under  an  injunction  that  they  would  pull 
up  nothing  that  they  did  not  know. 

On  the  Observatory  Point,  Seru,  Tanoa's  eldest  son,  had  built  an 
mbure  for  the  accommodation  of  strangers,  and  the  spot  is  now  held 
sacred.  I  found  he  had  respected  the  pile  of  stones  I  had  left  as  a 
mark  for  the  harbour. 

The  Lebouni  people,  I  was  told,  would  occasionally  complain  that 
they  had  not  been  sufficiently  rewarded  for  their  services  at  the  kitchen. 
They  are  a  remarkably  wild-looking  set  of  fellows,  and  may  be  termed 
wild  Feejee  men.  The  wood-cut  conveys  a  good  representation  of 


An  anecdote  of  a  noted  chief,  proves  they  have  some  commendable 
points  about  them.  This  man  is  known  by  the  whites  at  Ovolau  by 
the  name  of  the  "  Dog  of  the  Mountains,"  he  was  offered  a  large 
reward  if  he  would  assist  in  killing  them ;  but  this  he  positively  refused 
to  do,  or  to  let  any  of  his  people  be  engaged  in  so  dishonest  an  affair, 
assigning  as  a  reason  that  they  had  always  behaved  well  and  been 
their  friends,  and  he  would  in  all  ways  protect  them.  When  he  visits 
Levuka,  since  this  became  known  to  the  white  residents,  he  is  treated 
with  marked  distinction  and  kindness. 

Here  I  again  saw  Paddy  Connel.  He  complained  of  ill  health,  and 
imputed  it  to  his  being  capsized  in  the  canoe  off  Kamba  Point,  when 
proceeding  to  Rewa  with  my  letters.  He  said  he  w^as  now  on  his  way 
to  Ambatiki,  to  live  again  with  his  fourth  wife,   and  his  two  small 

292  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

brats,  the  forty-seventh  and  forty-eighth,  and  trusted  before  he  died  he 
would  have  two  more  to  make  up  fifty,  for  his  ambition  was  altogether 
in  that  way  now.  I  endeavoured  again  to  find  out  the  cause  of  Paddy's 
banishment  from  Levuka,  in  order  to  discover  by  what  secret  laws  or 
rules  this  small  community  of  whites  governed  themselves;  but  he 
would  not  tell  me.  He  only  said  that  it  was  as  much  as  his  life  was 
worth  to  remain  beyond  his  time.  He  appeared  perfectly  contented, 
and  was  more  nearly  allied  to  a  savage  in  feeling  and  taste  than  any 
other  white  man  I  met  with  during  the  cruise. 

My  observations  being  completed,  I  went  on  board  the  tender, 
(leaving  the  Porpoise  taking  in  yams  for  the  squadron,)  and  proceeded 
round  the  north  side  of  the  island,  within  the  reef.  The  afternoon 
was  a  beautiful  one,  and  the  water  unruffled.  As  we  passed  abreast 
of  the  valley  of  Voona,  which  is  one  of  the  most  fruitful  in  the  group, 
Mr.  Agate  succeeded  in  getting  a  sketch  of  it,  which  is  extremely 
characteristic  of  Feejee  scenery. 

One  of  those  almost  inaccessible  peaks  on  which  the  natives  locate 
their  towns  for  safety,  is  conspicuous  in  this  view. 

Sailing  along  the  north  side  of  the  island,  we  passed  many  fish- 
weirs  formed  of  reeds,  into  which  the  fish  are  sometimes  driven. 
At  other  times  the  fish  are  lured  by  food  into  these  traps  at  high 
water;  the  weir  is  then  closed,  and  the  fish  taken  at  low  water.  The 
women  use  the  hand-net,  which  is  thrown  over  the  school.  They  have 
large  seines  for  turtles,  as  well  as  smaller  ones,  both  of  which  resemble 
our  own,  the  weights  being  small  bits  of  coral,  while  for  floats  they 
use  the  seed  of  the  Barringtonia.     These  nets  are  all  well  made. 

They  likewise  make  pens  of  stones,  into  which  they  drive  the  fish, 
and  capture  them  either  by  spearing  or  when  the  water  runs  out  at  low 
tide.  It  is  also  a  custom  with  them  to  dam  up  small  streams,  and 
stupify  the  fish  with  the  Glycine. 

Hand-nets  are  sometimes  used  in  a  peculiar  manner,  thus  :  when 
they  see  a  large  fish  take  refuge  in  the  coral  shelf,  they  surround  the 
place  with  a  net  and  drive  the  fish  out  into  it. 

We  passed  round  the  island,  in  the  tender,  as  far  as  the  island  of 
Moturiki,  under  which  we  anchored,  intending  to  proceed  the  next 
day  to  examine  the  bay  of  Ambau,  and  to  have  communication  if  pos- 
sible with  that  town. 

On  the  5th,  at  an  early  hour,  we  stood  for  Ambau.  The  wind, 
however,  was  ahead  for  the  greater  part  of  the  distance,  and  so  light 
that  I  found  we  could  not  reach  that  place  without  much  detention. 
Having  no  business  to  transact  there,  I  thought  it  might  occasion  some 
delav  if  I  landed,  and  thus  interfere  with  our  other  duties,  as  well  as 

:'V!t»i'Hf<r ■  '  >5*i>'*»!lJ^'«i*=?>!fvfe  - 



■  1 


M  A  L  O  L  O.  293 

orolong  the  time  of  our  stay  in  the  group.  We,  therefore,  contented 
ourselves  with  surveying  those  parts  that  required  correction,  and 
testing  the  accuracy  of  the  former  examinations. 

Ambau  is  one  of  the  most  striking  of  the  Feejee  towns;  its  mbure  is 
very  conspicuous,  and  it  is,  upon  the  whole,  one  of  the  most  extraordi- 
nary places  in  this  group,  holding  as  it  does  so  much  of  the  political 
power.  The  island  on  which  it  is  situated  is  not  more  than  a  mile 
long  by  half  a  mile  wide,  and  the  place  has  literally  been  made  of 
importance  by  the  assistance  of  a  few  renegade  whites,  who,  besides 
aiding  the  inhabitants  in  their  wars,  have  taught  them  all  manner  of 
roguery.  Among  those  who  thus  added  all  the  vices  of  civilized  life 
to  their  own  native  barbarity,  I  would  include  the  people  of  Viwa  and 
Verata,  w^ho  have  frequently  been  enabled  to  carry  on  their  wars  at  a 
distance  by  the  assistance  of  the  foreign  vessels  that  have  been  here, 
and  in  return  have  in  several  instances  massacred  their  white  coad- 

It  was  at  Ambau  that  the  French  brig  Aimable  Josephine,  Captain 
Bureau,  was  cut  off,  on  the  night  of  the  19th  July,  1834.  In  retaliation 
for  this  act,  Captain  D'Urville  destroyed  the  town  of  Viwa  in  1839.  It 
appears  that  this  vessel  had  been  frequently  employed  in  transporting 
the  warriors  of  Ambau  from  place  to  place.  In  return  for  this  service, 
a  promise  was  made  to  supply  Captain  Bureau  with  a  cargo  of  biche 
de  mar  and  shell.  Instead  of  fulfilling  this  promise,  the  chief  Namosi- 
malua,  in  whom  he  had  long  trusted,  seized  upon  his  vessel  and  caused 
him  to  be  put  to  death.  The  chief  was,  it  is  said,  averse  to  the  latter 
crime,  but  was  constrained  to  it  by  the  chiefs  of  Ambau,  although  he 
at  the  same  time  acknowledged  himself  under  many  obligations  to  the 
captain,  and  professed  a  great  Feejee  friendship  towards  him.  The 
captain  was  warned  by  the  traders  as  to  the  danger  of  trusting  the 
natives  as  much  as  he  did.  But  he  disregarded  these  cautions,  and 
the  consequence  was  the  loss  both  of  the  vessel  and  his  own  life,* 

The  brig  was  cut  off  through  the  instrumentality  of  six  of  the  na- 
tives of  Viwa,  whom  he  had  on  a  former  visit  taken  on  board  and 
carried  with  him  to  Tahiti.  These  went  on  board  on  the  afternoon 
of  19th  July,  leaving  at  the  fish-house  Charley,  an  English  resident 
of  Viwa,  and  a  Frenchman  named  Clermont.  When  the  natives 
came  on  board  and  were  in  the  gangway,  the  second  officer,  with  the 
cook  and  steward,  were  standing  on  the  forecastle,  and  the  captain  was 
on  the  quarter-deck.  One  of  the  natives  called  the  attention  of  the 
captain  to  the  small  schooner  which  was  then  lying  at  a  short  distance 

*  See  Appendix  XVIT.,  for  Captain  Eag-Ieston's  letter. 

296  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

which  a  man  of  the  name  of  Hunter,  who  had  gone  below,  and  was 
armed  only  with  a  hammer,  had  a  scuffle  with  Fimowlangi,  which  was 
ended  by  the  latter  being  shot,  through  the  skylight,  by  one  of  the  men 
who  had  regained  the  deck. 

The  vessel  being  thus  recovered  and  under  way,  went  on  to  Levuka, 
where  she  arrived  the  next  day.  During  the  passage,  the  bodies  of  the 
chief  and  of  another  native  who  was  found  wounded  in  the  forecastle, 
were  thrown  overboard. 

It  is  supposed  that  this  transaction  was  not  the  result  of  a  concerted 
plot,  but  was  conceived  on  the  instant ;  for  many  of  the  natives  appear 
to  have  been  as  much  surprised  as  the  crew.  Had  this  not  been  the 
case,  it  is  unlikely  that  the  vessel  could  have  been  recaptured. 

At  Levuka,  Captain  Eagleston  of  the  American  brig  Howard,  finding 
that  there  was  no  officer  left  to  navigate  the  brig,  put  her  in  charge 
of  Mr.  London,  and  sent  her  to  Sydney,  to  the  agent  or  owner,  Mr. 
Neill,  of  that  place.  We  mention,  with  regret,  that  Captain  Eagleston 
has  never  received  the  slightest  acknowledgment  for  this  important 

Vessels  that  visit  Ambau  are  liable  to  many  exactions,  and  to  have 
all  kinds  of  difficulties  thrown  in  their  way.  It  may  be  as  well  here  to 
caution  all  traders  against  admitting  canoes  alongside,  unless  they  have 
a  quantity  of  provisions  and  other  articles  to  trade.  When  hostilely 
inclined,  they  invariably  have  a  few  provisions,  for  the  purpose  of  de- 
ception ;  but  those  who  will  take  the  trouble  to  examine,  will  soon  dis- 
cover the  truth.  When  any  work  on  board  ship,  such  as  getting  under 
way,  &c.,  is  going  on,  the  natives  ought  never  to  be  suffered  to  be  on 
deck,  but  should  be  kept  in  their  canoes,  and  away  from  the  vessel's 
side.  Those  that  have  the  most  experience  of  these  savages  invariably 
trust  them  the  least. 

After  establishing  bases  by  sound,  we  observed  on  all  the  remarkable 
points,  and  towards  sunset  anchored  in  the  bay  of  Ambau.  The  next 
morning  we  got  under  way,  with  a  light  breeze  from  the  westward. 
This  wind  amounts  almost  to  a  land-breeze,  and  frequently  lasts  until 
near  noon.  With  its  aid,  we  passed  out  of  the  Moturiki  Passage, 
which  has  on  its  southern  side  the  small  islands  of  Leluvia  and  Than- 
gala,  and  on  its  northern,  that  of  Moturiki  and  its  reefs.  This  passage 
is  clear  from  obstructions,  and  is  one  mile  and  a  half  in  length  by  half 
a  mile  wide.  An  east-by-south  course  (per  compass)  leads  through  it, 
and  when  Black  Peak,  on  Vitilevu,  can  be  seen,  it  is  a  good  leading 
mark.  The  tide  sets  with  some  strength  through  the  passage,  the  flood 
running  to  the  westward,  or  in,  and  the  ebb  to  the  eastward,  or  out. 
There  is  safe  anchorage,  either  under  Leluvia  or  Moturiki,  on  their 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  297 

west  side,  in  water  from  seven  to  twelve  fatiioms  deep ;  but  a  good 
and  safe  harbour  exists  on  the  Moturiki  side,  by  entering  through  a 
narrow  channel  before  reaching  Thangala  Island.  This  channel  may 
be  known  by  a  large  coral  rock  on  the  reef  After  getting  through  the 
reef,  there  is  anchorage  in  from  seven  to  ten  fathoms,  with  sandy 

We  passed  through  the  Moturiki  Passage,  and  steered  for  Am- 
batiki,  examining  on  our  route,  the  transit  bearings,  and  taking  angles 
on  the  different  peaks,  in  order  to  verify  the  charts.  We  also  passed 
close  to  the  Horseshoe  Reef,  off  which  I  obtained  chronometer  sights 
and  angles;  and  made  many  useful  observations  on  Goro,  Nairai, 
Angau,  Ambatiki,  Wakaia,  and  Ovolau.  We  thence  proceeded  to 
Vuna,  which  we  did  not  reach  until  daylight  on  the  7th,  after  a 
tedious  sail,  contending  with  hght  winds  and  calms  under  its  high- 

At  Somu-somu  we  found  the  missionaries  under  some  alarm  re- 
specting the  prospect  of  war  with  Ambau,  which  had  been  for  some 
time  threatening  them,  and  was  now  about  to  commence.  The  cause 
of  hostilities  appeared,  according  to  the  missionaries,  to  have  been  a 
difficulty  that  had  occurred  between  Somu-somu  and  the  town  of  Buia, 
on  the  south  side  of  Vuna. 

Several  months  previously,  some  canoes  belonging  to  Vuna,  when 
in  distress,  took  refuge  in  the  dominions  of  Ambau,  and  received  kind 
treatment ;  for  the  people  of  Ambau,  instead  of  putting  them  to  death, 
or  making  them  slaves,  afforded  them  the  means  of  returning  to  their 
own  country.  The  Vuna  people,  after  their  return,  proposed  to  give 
the  Ambau  chiefs  and  people  a  feast,  which,  becoming  known  to 
Tui  Thakau,  king  of  Somu-somu,  he  became  offended,  and  argued, 
that  if  they  were  rich  enough  to  give  feasts,  they  might  pay  more 
tribute,  which  he  at  once  called  upon  them  to  do.  This  they  consi- 
dered as  very  arbitrary,  and  contrary  to  their  usages.  They  therefore 
refused  to  pay,  having  first  applied  to  Ambau  for  protection,  which 
was  readily  promised  them,  agreeably  to  the  wily  policy  of  Ambau, 
which  is  always  to  protect  the  weak,  and  produce  strife  in  the  different 
districts,  that  they  themselves  may  finally  profit  by  the  contention. 
This  prospect  of  war  prevented  the  Somu-somu  chiefs  and  people  from 
uniting  in  the  festivities  of  the  king  of  Muthuata ;  and  instead  of  accept- 
ing the  invitation,  they  were  obliged  to  request  the  alliance  of  the  king, 
through  his  son  Ko-Mbiti,  who,  it  will  be  recollected,  had  returned  to 
Muthuata  after  the  Peacock's  arrival.  The  old  king  of  Muthuata, 
although  very  friendly  to  Somu-somu,  yet  feared  the  displeasure  of 

VOL.  III.  38 

298  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

Ambau,  with  which  he  already  had  a  misunderstanding,  in  relation  to 
the  young  wife  of  old  Tanoa.  He  therefore  refused  to  become  the  ally 
of  Somu-somu,  but  offered  his  mediation  between  the  parties.  This 
did  not  settle  the  affair,  as  will  be  seen  in  the  sequel. 

The  difficulty  was  brought  to  a  state  of  open  war  by  the  capture  of 
a  small  fishing-canoe  belonging  to  Ambau,  by  the  Somu-somu  people, 
who  killed  the  natives  that  were  in  it.  Their  bodies  were  afterwards 
eaten  by  the  chiefs  and  people  of  Somu-somu,  with  much  exultation 
and  rejoicing,  at  a  feast  where  the  captors  of  the  canoe  were  painted 
and  smeared  with  turmeric,  and  dances  and  ava  drinking  concluded 
the  festivities. 

Messrs.  Hunt  and  Lythe,  with  their  ladies,  were  very  glad  to  see  us, 
for  they  were  in  much  trouble,  as  the  fact  of  their  residing  at  Somu- 
somu  would  subject  them  to  be  treated  as  though  they  were  actively 
engaged  in  the  war;  for  all  strangers  residing  within  the  limits  of  the 
koro,  are  in  time  of  war  considered  as  enemies,  so  far  as  being  subject 
to  plunder. 

I  felt  a  great  interest  about  the  missionaries,  and  regretted  the  absence 
of  Tui  lUa-illn,  the  acting  king,  who  was  on  the  island  of  Vanua-levu, 
gathering  his  vi^arriors.  Not  being  able  to  await  his  arrival,  I  had  a 
long  talk  with  his  old  father,  Tui  Thakau,  whom  I  found  sitting  in  his 
house,  as  usual,  with  his  wives  about  him,  all  of  whom  asked  the  inter- 
preter, Tom,  for  red  paint,  (aloa.) 

I  distinctly  told  the  king,  that  neither  the  missionaries  nor  any  other 
white  men  must  be  hurt ;  that  if  it  ever  occurred,  or  he  touched  a  hair 
of  their  heads,  he  might  rely  upon  it,  that  sooner  or  later,  punishment 
would  come  upon  him ;  I  urged  upon  him,  for  his  own  sake,  the  neces- 
sity of  taking  care  that  no  harm  should  come  to  them  or  their  fami- 
lies, and  spoke  of  the  necessity  of  their  giving  them  ground,  and 
building  them  a  house  without  the  limits  of  the  town.  To  all  this  he 
listened  with  great  willingness,  and  promised  to  do  all  he  could ;  but 
he  said  that  his  son  Tui  Illa-illa  must  be  consulted,  and  that  when  he 
came  back  he  would  talk  the  matter  over  with  him.  He,  however, 
promised  that  no  harm  should  come  to  the  missionaries.  This  had  a 
good  effect,  and  quieted  in  a  measure  the  fears  of  the  ladies  of  the 

The  old  king  told  me  he  did  not  pretend  to  rule  out  of  his  own 
house,  for  he  had  become  too  old.  He  passes  his  time  with  his  wives, 
muskets,  and  junk-bottles,  of  the  latter  of  which  he  has  a  goodly 
supply,  hung  all  around  his  house.  His  stock  of  them  had  increased 
since  my  last  visit,  the  Currency  Lass  having,  I  believe,  disposed  of 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  299 

some  hampers  of  them.  As  I  entered,  I  found  one  of  his  young 
wives  helping  him  to  food,  his  hands  being  tabooed  since  the  death 
of  his  son. 

Requiring  some  yams  for  the  vessels,  I  asked  him  to  have  a 
quantity  brought.  He  was  all  willingness  at  first,  and  with  those 
about  him  appeared  very  anxious  to  procure  a  quantity  for  me ;  but  I 
•  understood  this  manosuvre,  and  well  knew  from  other  indications  that 
none  vv'ould  be  brought.  Messenger  after  messenger  in  a  short  time 
began  to  arrive,  stating  one  excuse  and  another,  and  many  more  mes- 
sengers returned  than  went  forth. 

The  king's  orator  had,  on  my  first  landing,  importuned  me  to  ex- 
change some  yams  for  bottles,  to  which  I  finally  agreed,  in  order  to 
get  rid  of  him,  and  sent  my  cockswain  off  to  the  tender  for  them. 
About  the  time  the  messengers  were  coming  in,  the  cockswain  re- 
turned. The  orator,  it  appeared,  had  now  changed  his  mind,  and  had 
no  yams  to  barter.  I  now  began  to  talk  of  our  "  fiery  spirits"  to 
the  chief,  through  the  interpreter,  telling  them  all  the  mischief  they 
could  do,  how  they  could  burn  the  roofs  off"  the  yam-houses,  so  that  one 
could  see  whether  the  Feejee  men  told  lies,  and  how  they  could  be 
made  to  follow  a  man  who  did  not  keep  his  engagements.  To  all  this 
they  listened  with  great  attention,  and  I  wound  up  by  telling  them 
that  I  wished  to  purchase  three  hundred  yams,  and  that  if  they  were 
not  in  a  heap  before  the  chief's  house  before  ava  could  be  drunk, 
I  would  be  obliged  to  send  a  spirit  to  look  in,  for  I  was  well  aware 
they  had  plenty  of  yams,  and  large  ones  too.  As  respected  the 
orator,  I  said  that  if  he  did  not  at  once  perform  the  engagement 
which  he  had  so  importuned  me  to  make  with  him,  I  would  send  a 
spirit  to  chase  him.  It  was  truly  amusing  to  see  this  fellow's  con- 
sternation ;  he  flew  about  from  house  to  house,  begging  for  yams,  (for 
I  do  not  believe  he  owned  one,)  until  he  got  his  ten ;  and  these  were 
very  fine  ones. 

In  a  short  time  the  whole  koro  was  in  a  stir,  and  natives  of  all  sizes 
and  sexes  were  bringing  yams  to  the  heap.  The  largest  in  size  were 
carefully  placed  outside  of  the  heap,  and  one  of  these  measured  four 
feet  six  inches  long,  and  seven  inches  in  diameter.  When  the  heap 
was  finished,, it  was  presented  to  me  in  due  form,  with  a  native  drum 
(lale),  which  I  had  desired  to  have.  For  all  this  I  sent  the  chief  a 
musket,  the  usual  price  of  one  thousand  yams,  and  a  whale's  tooth  in 
token  of  friendship. 

After  the  drum  had  been  presented  to  me,  I  was  desirous  of  hearing 
them  beat  upon  it.  They  have  several  beats  or  calls  to  give  notice  to 
the  koro,  one  of  which  was  for  the  calling  of  the  people  together  to 


M  A  L  O  L  O. 

the  feast  of  human  bodies.     They  were  all  distinct,  and  they  said  quite 
audible  at  a  great  distance. 

The  Feejee  drum  is  similar  to  that  described  at  Tonga,  and  is  made 

of  a  log  hollowed  out  and  placed  on  one  point. 

It  gives  out  a  deep  hollow  tone  when  struck 

with  the  small  and  large  stick,  with  which  they 

produce  the  different  sounds. 

I  now  had  an  opportunity  of  visiting  their 
upper  town,  which  was  not  offered  me  before.  This  is  situated  on  a 
bluif  rising  abruptly  behind  the  lower  village,  and  being  strong  by 
nature,  is  susceptible  of  being  maintained  against  a  large  force. 
There  is  a  trench  and  palisade  around  a  great  portion  of  it. 


SOiLO      SOli^ 

The  upper  town  is  so  much  concealed  by  the  trees  and  bushes 
growing  on  the  bluff,  that  one  might  be  at  Somu-somu  many  times 
without  noticing  it.  The  approach  to  it  is  through  a  narrow  pass, 
from  which  there  is  a  beautiful  view. 

I  also  had  an  opportunity  of  seeing  their  manner  of  trading  among 
themselves.     This  is  entirely  conducted  by  barter.     The  market  is  held 

MALOLO.  301 

on  a  certain  day  in  the  square,  where  each  one  deposits  in  a  large 
heap  what  goods  and  wares  he  may  have.  Any  one  may  then  go 
and  select  from  it  what  he  wishes,  and  carry  it  away  to  his  own 
heap;  the  other  then  has  the  privilege  of  going  to  the  heap  of  the 
former  and  selecting  what  he  considers  to  be  an  equivalent.  This  is 
all  conducted  without  noise  or  confusion.  If  any  disagreement  takes 
place,  the  chief  is  there  to  settle  it ;  but  this  is  said  rarely  to  happen. 
The  chief  has  a  right  to  take  what  he  pleases  from  each  heap. 

Towards  sunset,  as  was  my  custom,  I  went  on  board. 

The  missionaries  had  mentioned  to  me  that  the  skulls  of  the  men 
that  had  been  eaten  a  few  days  since  were  lying  on  the  beach.  We, 
in  consequence,  looked  for  them,  but  they  were  not  to  be  found. 

We  took  leave  of  our  missionary  friends,  with  many  feelings  of 
regret,  for  their  situation  is  a  most  deplorable  one,  and  I  sincerely 
wished  them  safely  fixed  in  another  and  a  happier  position,  and  that 
they  had  some  other  protector  than  the  brute  Tui  Illa-illa,  in  whose 
hands  their  fate  seems  to  be  continually  precarious. 

Here  I  received  information  of  the  wreck  of  the  whale-ship  Shylock, 
on  Turtle  Island,  and  felt  extremely  desirous  of  sending  one  of  the 
vessels  to  the  assistance  of  the  crew  and  preservation  of  the  cargo,  if 
any  remained. 
j^  I  had  promised  the  king  and  chief  that  I  would  show  hini  some  of 

our  "  fiery  spirits"  after  it  grew  dark ;  and  when  eight  o'clock  came, 
the  rockets  were  set  off.  The  loudest  shoutings  were  heard  from  the 
beach,  where  the  whole  koro  had  gathered  to  witness  the  "  fiery 
spirits"  flying  in  the  air.  I  had  promised  that  they  should  do  them 
no  harm,  as  we  were  friends.  A  rocket  happened  to  be  placed  just 
over  one  of  the  guns,  which,  Hke  the  others,  was  kept  primed  and  with 
the  apron  on ;  but  the  latter  not  being  fastened,  the  rocket  blew  it  off 
and  set  fire  to  the  charge,  which  went  off  at  the  same  time.  The 
gun  was  loaded  with  grape  and  canister.  Fortunately  the  tender  was 
lying  so  that  the  shot  flew  obliquely  towards  the  beach,  and  fell  in  the 
water  before  reaching  it.  A  point  or  two  nearer,  and  they  would  have 
had  a  practical  illustration  of  our  "  devils"  by  their  sweeping  the  arms, 
legs,  and  heads  of  many  of  them  off.  The  firing  of  the  gun  produced 
great  astonishment  both  to  them  and  ourselves. 

The  news  of  Captain  Croker's  attack  on  the  town  of  Bea'  at  Tonga, 
reached  us  here,  and  excited  a  good  deal  of  interest,  as  I  had  but  a 
few  months  before  been  endeavouring  to  mediate  a  peace  between  the 
hostile  parties.  It  appears  that  Captain  Croker,  being  desirous  of 
bringing  the  war  and  difficulties  to  an  end,  espoused  warmly  tht  mis- 


302  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

sionary  cause,  and  delei'inined  to  bring  all  the  natives  into  acquies- 
cence. The  town  of  Bea  being  one  of  the  strongest  of  those  belonging 
to  the  principal  chief  of  the  devil's  party,  he  undertook  to  capture  it, 
but  underrated  the  strength  of  its  fortification  and  its  means  of  defence. 
For  this  purpose  he  landed  a  large  party  from  his  ship  (the  Favourite 
sloop-of-war),  and  proceeded  to  the  town  of  Bea,  on  reaching  which 
he  sent  a  message  to  the  purport  that  its  inhabitants  must  come  to 
terms  within  an  hour,  and  gave  them  no  time  to  consult  or  arrange 
matters,  after  their  own  fashion.  As  soon  as  the  hour  was  up,  he 
called  upon  them  to  surrender,,  which  they  refused  to  do,  upon  which 
he  at  once  proceeded  to  attack  the  gate.  The  native  warriors  resisted 
and  fired  upon  him.  The  affair  resulted  in  the  loss  of  his  own  life, 
with  those  of  several  of  his  officers  and  men,  and  a  consequent 
abandonment  of  the  object.  The  retreat  was  succeeded  by  the  expul- 
sion from  the  island  of  the  missionaries  and  Christian  party.  It  is  sup- 
posed that  if  a  longer  time  had  been  allowed  the  chief  of  Bea,  all  its 
inhabitants  would  have  come  over  quietly  to  the  Christian  party,  under 
the  fear  of  the  storming  and  taking  of  the  place,  for  they  had  but  little 
idea  that  they  could  withstand  the  attack  of  a  white,  or  Papalangi  force. 

On  the  morning  of  the  8th,  we  left  Somu-somu  and  stood  to  the 
northward  for  the  Ringgold  Isles.  These  are  seven  in  number,  and 
are  surrounded  by  extensive  reefs.  The  highest  of  the  group,  called 
Budd  Island  was  ascended  :  it  is  composed  of  volcanic  scoria  and 
large  blocks  of  lava,  rising  to  the  height  of  eight  hundred  feet,  and 
has  an  almost  perfect  crater  in  its  centre.  The  outside,  or  rim,  of  this 
crater  forms  the  island,  and  is  very  narrow  at  the  top ;  its  inner  side  is 
quite  perpendicular,  while  its  outside  is  generally  inclined  at  an  angle 
of  fifty  or  sixty  degrees,  although  in  places  it  is  almost  perpendicular ; 
the  climbing  is,  however,  made  comparatively  easy  b}''  the  assistance 
of  the  roots  of  the  trees  that  grow  upon  it,  of  which  some  of  large 
size  are  near  its  base.  The  other  islands  in  its  neighbourhood  we  did 
not  land  on :  they  are  uninhabited,  except  at  the  turtle  season ;  they 
are  barren  rocks,  and  too  dangerous  to  be  approached  by  a  vessel,  the 
reefs  extending  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach. 

Having  succeeded  in  making  all  the  requisite  observations,  we 
returned  to  the  tender,  and  left  Ringgold  Isles,  with  the  intention  of 
anchoring  under  Rambe ;  but  we  were  benighted  before  we  reached 
the  reef;  and  as  our  pilots  did  not  know  where  the  entrance  was,  1 
determined  to  proceed  to  Unda  Point,  off  which  we  arrived  near  mid- 
night, and  lay-to  until  daylight. 

On  the  morning  of  the  9th  of  August,  at  daylight,  we  found  ourselves 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  303 

near  the  island  of  Chicobea,  which  is  the  most  northern  of  the  group. 
We  took  sights  on  it,  and  connected  it  with  Unda  Point.  The  form 
of  Chicobea  is  oval,  and  it  is  formed  of  two  hummocks,  of  conside- 
rable elevation.  It  is  three  miles  long,  southeast  and  northwest,  and 
one  mile  and  three-quarters  wide ;  is  surrounded  by  a  shore-reef, 
which  has  no  openings,  except  for  boats,  and  offers  nothing  to  tempt  a 
vessel  to  land.  We  then  ran  down  the  reef  off  the  northern  side  of 
Vanua-levu,  and  at  noon  entered  the  Sau-sau  Passage,  which  is  the 
first  that  occurs  in  connexion  with  the  ship-channel  within  the  reef. 
There,  is,  however,  one  tolerably  good  harbour,  called  Tibethe,  and 
there  are  several  towns  around  the  bay.  Indeed,  the  north  shore  of 
Vanua-levu  appears  to  be  well  peopled. 

At  3  p.  M.,  we  were  off  the  island  of  Mali,  which  is  thinly  inhabited. 
Native  villages  were  seen  on  the  high  bluffs  of  the  island.  Opposite  to 
Mali  is  the  Mali  Passage,  through  which  it  was  my  intention  to  put  to 
sea  with  the  squadron,  which  I  had,  in  consequence,  directed  to  meet 
me.  As  we  proceeded  to  the  place  of  rendezvous,  and  before  sunset 
of  the  9th  August,  we  met  the  remainder  of  the  squadron  on  their  way 
to  Mali,  when  I  joined  the  Vincennes.  The  wind  failing  soon  after,  we 
cast  anchor. 

I  now  received  the  reports  of  the  operations  of  the  other  vessels 
during  the  time  I  had  been  separated  from  them. 

Under  the  direction  of  Captain  Hudson,  the  bay  of  Mbua  had 
been  again  surveyed,  with  all  its  reefs.  The  work  began  on  the  16th 
July,  and  continued  until  the  21st.  As  soon  as  it  was  concluded, 
Captain  Hudson  proceeded  with  the  Peacock  to  Muthuata.  During 
his  absence  a  tent  was  set  up  at  Lecumba  Point,  for  the  accommo- 
dation of  the  sick,  who  were  sent  on  shore.  The  case  which  rendered 
this  more  particularly  needful,  was  that  of  J.  Baxter,  the  second  mate 
of  the  Leonidas,  who,  as  has  been  stated,  had  been  badly  burnt  with 
gunpowder  on  the  29th  June.  His  wounds  were  so  severe,  that  from 
the  first  the  surgeon  entertained  but  little  hope  of  his  recovery,  and  he 
did  not  long  survive.  Before  his  decease  he  disclosed  his  real  name, 
that  of  Baxter  being  an  assumed  one.  He  was  a  native  of  France, 
about  thirty  years  of  age,  and  his  true  name  was  Vincent  Boudet. 

Our  officers  and  naturalists,  during  their  stay  at  Mbua,  had  several 
opportunities  of  making  short  excursions  into  the  country. 

They  found  a  considerable  difference  in  the  vegetation  since  their 
former  visit,  about  five  weeks  before.  Many  plants,  of  which  there 
were  then  no  signs,  were  now  in  full  bloom.  Several  of  these  were 
very  showy,  among  which  were  the  willow-leaved  acacia,  a  species, 
of  callistemon  with  scarlet  flowers,  &c.     They  also  met  with  a  new 

304  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

species  of  iron-wood,  (Casuarina,)  which  is  a  tree  of  upright  growth, 
thirty  feet  high,  with  a  dense  green  top;  its  cones  are  large  and 
terminal.  The  country,  for  five  or  six  miles  inland,  is  a  range  of  low 
barren  hills,  producing  small  shrubs,  with  masses  of  wild  sugar-cane 
and  fern. 

Dr.  Pickering  and  Mr.  Brackenridge  penetrated,  in  one  of  their 
excursions,  to  the  mountains,  in  search  of  the  sandalwood,  to  procure 

They  landed  at  Myandone,  the  town  situated  on  the  stream  from 
which  we  obtained  our  water.  This  stream  is  small,  and  water  was 
procured  with  difficulty,  on  account  of  the  flow  of  the  tide  to  a  long 
distance  up  the  creek.  The  natives,  however,  obviated  this  difficulty, 
in  a  great  measure,  by  building  a  dam  of  mud,  which  rose  above 
high-water  mark,  and  formed  a  kind  of  pool.  The  water  in  this,  if 
disturbed,  would  have  been  too  muddy  to  take,  they,  therefore,  in- 
serted in  the  dam  several  bamboo  stems,  on  closing  which  the  water 
rose  quietly  to  some  height,  and  upon  opening  them  again,  was  drawn 
off  quite  clear, 

A  house  was  built  here,  where  any  of  the  officers  or  naturalists  who 
might  be  detained  after  sunset  might  sleep  in  safety. 

The  chief  of  Myandone  furnished  our  gentlemen  with  guides  for  the 
mountains,  and  they  set  out  on  their  excursion.  For  the  first  five  miles 
they  passed  through  barren  hills,  after  which  they  proceeded  up  a 
valley,  through  which  a  small  stream  meandered,  passing  by  planta- 
tions of  bananas,  yams,  and  taro.  As  they  approached  the  base  of  the 
mountain,  they  met  with  groves  of  trees,  among  which  were  some 
species  of  Ficus,  Bread-fruit,  Inocarpus,  Erythrina,  and  several  new 

At  the  base  of  the  mountain,  they  visited  a  town  scattered  over 
several  hills  on  both  sides  of  the  stream.  At  an  mbure  house  their 
guides  entered  into  a  discussion  with  an  old  man,  seemingly  to  obtain 
permission  to  proceed.  The  old  man  received  them  with  hospitality, 
and  cooked  some  yams  for  them. 

Crowds  of  natives,  men,  women,  and  children,  gathered  around  to 
see  the  Papalangis,  whom  they  had  never  laid  eyes  on  before.  The 
distribution  of  a  few  beads  and  a  little  tobacco,  greatly  delighted  them. 

After  the  yam  breakfast,  the  old  man  accompanied  them,  and  was 
of  great  service  in  leading  them  in  the  right  path,  for  it  appeared 
that  neither  of  the  men  whom  they  had  brought  as  guides  was  at  all 
acquainted  with  the  route.  At  the  end  of  two  hours,  they  reached  the 
top  of  the  mountain  range,  which  has  an  elevation  of  about  two 
thousand  feet ;  but  they  were  unfortunate  in  being  overtaken  with  rain. 

M  A  L  O  L  O. 


so  that  their  view  was  confined  to  a  short  distance.  Near  the  top  ol 
the  mountain  they  found  two  species  of  cinnamon,  very  aromatic  in 
flavour;  they  also  met  with  a  handsome  little  palm  (Corypha),  and 
obtained  specimens  of  it  in  flower. 

They  returned  to  the  town  by  a  different  route,  through  the  woods, 
and  concluded  that  it  was  better  to  attempt  to  reach  the  boat  before 
sunset,  than  to  remain  among  these  savages.  They  accordingly  set 
out  for  this  purpose,  but  were  benighted,  nearly  opposite  to  the  town 
of  Myandone,  where  they  met  the  chief,  who  invited  them  to  his  town ; 
and,  as  there  was  nothing  better  for  them  to  do,  they  accepted  the 
invitation.  The  path  led  over  many  mud-holes,  which  it  was  dan- 
gerous to  cross,  even  in  the  daytime,  as  the  means  of  doing  so  were 
no  more  than  a  single  stick,  and  that  stick  under  water.  What  was 
dangerous  by  day,  of  course  became  vastly  more  difficult  at  night. 
The  chief  directed  that  they  should  mount  on  the  shoulders  of  the 
natives,  and  thus  astride,  they  passed  over  the  morass  for  a  distance 
of  upwards  of  a  quarter  of  a  mile,  finding  their  way  by  the  light  of 
the  torches,  which  served  to  show  them  the  difficulties  they  were  en- 
countering, and  the  disaster  that  was  to  be  expected  from  a  false  step 
of  their  bearers. 

On  their  arrival  at  the  town,  they  entered  the  mbure,  and  became 
the  guests  of  the  chief  for  the  night.  He  treated  them  to  a  supper  of 
small  clams  and  yams,  and  a  corner  of  the  mbure  was  assigned  to  them 
for  sleeping. 

The  night  was  passed  under  some  feeling  of  insecurity,  for  their  host 
was  the  noted  rebel  chief  who  had  been  making  war  on  Tui  Mbua, 
and  was  not  considered  very  trustworthy. 


The  next  morning,  after  rewarding  the  chief  with  jack-knives  and 
tobacco,  they  recrossed  the  morass  in  like  manner,  and  reached  the 

VOL.  III.  2A2  39 

306  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

ship  by  the  boat.  As  this  party  had  not  succeeded  in  obtaining  the 
specimens  of  sandalwood  they  desired,  an  opportunity  offering,  through 
the  invitation  of  old  Tui  Mbua,  who  was  on  board  the  Vincennes,  was 
taken  advantage  of,  and  several  officers  embarked  with  him,  to  spend 
the  night  at  his  village,  called  Fakosega.  They  were  accompanied 
by  David  Whippy,  as  interpreter.  Their  principal  object  was  to  obtain 
specimens  of  sandalwood,  which  has  now  become  so  rare  on  these 
islands,  and  which  the  old  chief  promised  to  find  for  them. 

This  district  of  Tui  Mbua  is  that  whence  the  sandalwood  was  for- 
merly obtained.  Tui  Mbua  furnished  our  gentlemen  with  guides,  and 
they  set  out.  The  country  was  the  same  as  before  described  on  the 
other  route,  consisting  of  barren  hills,  trees  being  only  found  in  the 
valleys,  which  are  of  small  extent.  They  were  soon  shown  several 
specimens  of  sandalwood,  very  small,  and  hardly  to  be  distinguished 
from  the  surrounding  shrubs.  The  natives  call  it  assi.  Proceeding 
on  to  the  top  of  the  hill,  several  solitary  trees  of  sandalwood  were  met 
with,  the  largest  of  which  were  no  more  than  twenty  feet  high,  and 
had  a  stem  only  six  inches  in  diameter  at  the  height  of  eighteen  inches 
from  the  base.  The  general  habit  of  the  tree  is  represented  as  of  slen- 
der form,  and  a  growth  very  much  resembling  that  of  a  peach-tree. 
It  is  found  to  be  affected  by  a  kind  of  dry-rot,  which,  however,  does 
not  lessen  the  fragrance  of  the  wood.  They  procured  specimens  both 
in  fruit  and  flower ;  the  latter  is  not  conspicuous.  The  fresh  wood  is 
destitute  of  odour,  and  therefore  cannot  be  recognised  by  this  property. 
The  district  where  this  wood  is  found  is  exceedingly  small,  being  no 
more  than  fifteen  miles  square.  A  line  running  north  from  Lecumba 
Point,  and  including  Anganga  Island,  will  comprise  the  whole  of  it. 
This  district  forms  the  most  western  point  of  the  island  of  Vanua-levu. 
Its  soil  is  rocky  and  barren,  but  not  more  so  than  that  of  several  other 
districts  that  have  been  visited. 

Mr.  Brackenridge  remarks,  that  they  met  with  a  species  of  Rhus, 
which  grows  in  the  form  of  an  upright  tree.  Nothing  could  induce 
the  natives  to  ascend  to  obtain  specimens  of  it,  for  it  is  considered  by 
them  as  poisonous  ;  and  they  made  signs  that  it  would  injure  their 
hands  and  feet,  or  any  part  of  the  body  that  came  in  contact  with  it. 
Our  naturalists,  however,  obtained  specimens  of  the  tree  by  breaking 
down  a  branch  with  a  hooked  stick. 

Tui  Mbua's  town  is  situated  on  an  almost  inaccessible  peak,  six 
hundred  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea.  It  contains  about  four  hun- 
dred inhabitants  including  men,  women,  and  children.  They  are  all 
now  miserably  poor,   and  have  little  to  eat,  having  recourse  to   the 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  307 

fruit  of  the  mangrove  (Rhizophora),  which  the  women  were  seen 
gathering.  Tui  Mbua  had  forewarned  his  guests  that  he  had  no  kixu- 
ries  to  give  them. 

They  had  a  comfortable  mbure,  however,  to  sleep  in,  and  supped 
upon  yams.  The  labour  of  transporting  all  the  water  and  provisions 
up  the  ascent  falls  upon  the  women. 

In  the  town  of  Tui  Mbua,  were  the  two  Feejee  chiefs  of  Sualib  Bay 
whom  I  had  freed ;  they  proved  to  be  the  friends  and  allies  of  the  old 
king,  and  at  their  request  they  were  landed  to  pay  him  a  visit,  and 
thence  to  proceed  homeward. 

In  the  evening  they  were  entertained  with  a  Feejee  dance  by  the 
men,  which  consisted  in  movements  of  the  body,  arms,  legs,  and  head, 
not  ungraceful.  The  dancers  had  evidently  practised  a  great  deal 
together.  The  glowing  light  of  the  bamboo  torches  on  their  dark 
skins  and  fine  forms,  decked  in  their  pure  white  turbans  (sala),  with 
the  crowd  gathered  around,  produced  a  fine  effect.  A  few  girls  were 
also  induced  to  dance,  but  they  did  not  do  so  well,  for  want  of  practice. 

With  the  assistance  of  David  Whippy,  they  got  rid  of  the  old  king 
almost  by  force,  as  he  was  inclined  to  pass  the  night  in  their  company. 
Tui  Mbua  has  always  been  a  great  friend  of  the  whites.  They  returned 
on  board  the  next  day. 

At  Lecumba  Point,  where  many  of  the  natives  were  frequently 
gathered,  the  ambati  or  priest  was  induced  to  shake  as  if  the  spirit 
was  in  him.  He  always,  however,  declined  doing  so  unless  they  were 
alone,  for  fear  he  should  lose  his  influence  with  his  countrymen.  His 
first  operation  was  to  put  every  muscle  in  full  tension,  clenching  his 
fists  and  placing  his  feet  apart.  This  done,  he  would  begin  to  shake 
with  great  violence,  the  muscles  of  his  legs  becoming  so  much  excited, 
that  involuntary  motions  continued  for  some  time  afterwards.  A  small 
present  was  usually  made  him  for  these  exertions. 

Captain  Hudson,  as  has  been  seen,  had  proceeded  with  the  Peacock 
to  Muthuata.  As  soon  as  he  arrived  at  that  place,  he  went  on  shore 
to  visit  the  king,  and  demanded  of  him  Hugh  M'Bride,  a  deserter  from 
one  of  the  surveying  boats.  He  was  the  second  man  who  had  attempted 
to  leave  the  squadron  for  the  purpose  of  taking  up  his  abode  among 
these  cannibals. 

The  king  disclaimed  all  knowledge  of  his  desertion,  and  promised  to 
have  him  sought  after.  The  king's  house  was  found  surrounded  by 
his  warriors  and  people,  armed,  who  all  appeared  much  agitated  and 
alarmed  at  the  second  visit  of  the  ship.  Every  thing  was,  however, 
done  that  could  be  to  quiet  his  fears,  but  not  with  much  success. 

308  M  A  L  O  L  O. 

Captain  Hudson  having  furnished  his  first  heutenant  with  written 
instructions,  returned  to  bring  the  Vincennes  round  from  Mbua  Bay. 

Hugh  M'Bride  was  afterwards  found  at  Muthuata,  secreted  by  natives, 
and  strong  suspicion  existed  that  it  was  with  the  full  knowledge  and  con- 
currence of  the  king.  Many  surveying  signals  were  also  stolen,  even 
in  sight  of  the  ship,  and  in  broad  daylight.  It  therefore  became 
necessary  to  put  a  stop  to  these  thefts,  which  not  only  impeded  the 
operations,  but  could  not  be  overlooked  without  the  risk  of  further 
depredations.  Captain  Hudson  visited  the  king,  and  told  him  distinctly 
that  the  articles  must  be  returned  in  a  day,  or  he  must  take  the  conse- 
quences. The  king  made  many  promises,  and  kept  them  better  than 
those  he  had  before  given,  for  he  set  about  effecting  the  recovery  of  the 
signals  in  earnest. 

On  the  26th  July,  the  king's  son  Ko-Mbiti,  returned  from  Somu-somu 
in  state,  without  bringing  any  guests  to  the  famous  fete  they  were  pre- 
paring. Instead  of  them  he  presented  his  father  with  a  large  whale's 
tooth,  and  a  request  that  he  would  take  part  in  the  war  about  to  take 
place  against  Seru,  who  headed  the  Ambau  warriors.  The  son,  it  was 
understood,  favoured  the  Somu-somuans,  but  the  old  king  more  pru- 
dently desired  to  observe  a  strict  neutrality. 

The  observations  at  Lecumba  Point  having  been  finished,  and 
Captain  Hudson  having  returned  from  Muthuata  to  take  the  Vin- 
cennes, every  thing  was  embarked  in  her,  and  on  the  29th  they  got 
under  way  for  Muthuata.  In  the  evening  they  anchored  in  Naloa 
Bay,  where  the  next  morning  they  took  in  a  quantity  of  wood,  and 
visited  the  town  of  Tavea  on  the  island  of  that  name.  Here  Mr. 
Drayton  witnessed  the  making  of  pottery  by  women.  The  clay  used 
is  of  a  red  colour,  and  is  obtained  in  quantities  on  the  island,  and  the 
vessels  are  formed  by  the  women  with  the  same  instruments  that  are 
described  in  another  place.  Some  of  their  work  appeared  as  round 
as  though  it  had  been  turned  in  a  lathe.  The  pots  are  dried  in  the 
open  air,  and  for  baking  or  burning  them,  they  use  a  common  wood 
fire,  without  any  oven.  The  vessels  are  of  various  shapes,  some  of 
which  are  quite  pretty.  The  tenacity  of  the  clay  is  such,  that  even 
without  baking  the  pottery  is  quite  strong. 

The  islands  from  Naloa  Bay  to  Muthuata,  are  for  the  most  part  low, 
and  covered  with  tiri  (mangrove)  bushes.  There  is  one  within  a  few 
miles  of  Muthuata,  called  Nucumbati,  which  is  remarkable  in  shape, 
as  well  as  picturesque  in  appearance.  On  this  is  a  deserted  town  of 
about  sixty  houses,  situated  in  a  beautiful  grove  of  cocoa-nut  trees. 
The  account  obtained  of  it  from  our  interpreter  was,  that  its  chief  and 

M  A  L  O  L  O.  309 

most  of  its  people  had  been  killed,  and  that  the  rest  had  left  it.  It 
appeared  to  have  been  a  long  time  deserted.  According  to  Mr.  Budd, 
who  was  occupied  in  its  survey,  the  site  of  the  town  is  easily  distin- 
guished by  a  large  spirit-house  that  stands  on  the  beach  in  front  of  it. 

The  Feejee  tomato  (Solanum)  in  its  green  state,  was  first  seen  at 

It  was  from  this  town,  Tavea,  that  the  natives  belonged,  who  came 
ofi'  to  the  Peacock  eating  human  flesh,  and  it  was  not  surprising  that 
ranges  of  pots  for  cooking  the  unnatural  food  were  seen  beside  the 

A  short  time  before  noon,  the  Vincennes  got  under  way,  and  before 
night  anchored  off  the  town  of  Muthuata,  near  the  Peacock. 

On  the  31st  July,  the  boats  from  Malolo  reached  the  ship,  and  also 
Lieutenant  Case,  from  Somu-somu,  by  the  south  side  of  the  island, 
having  been  engaged  in  surveying  some  small  harbours  that  I  was 
desirous  should  be  more  particularly  examined  than  had  been  done 

Captain  Hudson  now  began  a  very  particular  survey  of  the  harbour 
of  Muthuata,  continuing  it  as  far  as  Mali,  the  boats  of  both  ships  being 
engaged  in  this  duty.  The  shore  was  frequently  visited  by  the  officers 
and  naturalists,  and  the  botanical  specimens  much  increased.  The 
tomato,  already  spoken  of,  was  found  here  in  its  ripe  state.  It  is  be- 
lieved to  be  a  perennial  plant.  The  fruit  is  the  size  of  an  orange,  and 
of  an  agreeable  flavour;  it  has  been  grown  and  ripened  in  Philadelphia, 
and  I  am  in  hopes  will  in  a  short  titne  be  acclimated  in  the  United 
States,  where  it  will  be  a  great  acquisition. 

The  return  of  the  boats  from  Malolo,  brought  the  melancholy  news 
of  the  death  of  Lieutenant  Underwood  and  Midshipman  Henry. 

Immediately  on  the  receipt  of  this  information.  Captain  Hudson 
ordered  the  flags  of  both  ships  to  be  lowered  halfmast,  and  issued  the 
following  order,  which  was  read  to  the  crews  of  both  ships. 

Information  having  been  received,  from  the  commander  of  the 
Expedition,  of  the  death  of  Lieutenant  Joseph  A.  Underwood  and 
Midshipman  Wilkes  Henry,  on  the  24th  instant,  who  were  treache- 
rously murdered  by  the  natives  of  Malolo,  one  of  the  Feejee  group 
of  islands,  the  officers  of  the  United  States  ships  Vincennes  and 
Peacock  will  wear  the  usual  badge  of  mourning  for  thirty  days,  as  a 
testimony  of  regard  for  the  memory  of  their  departed  brother  officers, 
who  have  been  suddenly  cut  off  from  their  sphere  of  usefulness  in 

310  MALOLO. 

the  Expedition,  while  arduously  engaged  in  the  performance  of  their 
public  duty,  (Signed)  William  L.Hudson, 

Feejee  Islands,  July  31st,  1840.  Commanding  U.  S.  Ship  Peacock. 

Subsequently  to  this,  on  the  8th  of  October,  a  meeting  of  the  officers 
was  held  on  board  the  Peacock,  at  which  Captain  W.  L.  Hudson  was 
called  to  the  chair,  and  Lieutenant  R.  E.  Johnson  appointed  secretary. 
The  chair  announced  that  the  object  of  the  meeting  was  to  obtain  a 
just  expression  of  feeling  in  relation  to  the  death  of  Lieutenant  Joseph 
A.  Underwood  and  Midshipman  Wilkes  Henry,  who  on  the  24th  of 
July  last  were  treachei'ously  killed  by  the  natives  of  Malolo.  On 
motion,  a  committee,  consisting  of  Lieutenant  Johnson,  Dr.  Palmer,  Mr. 
Rich,  (botanist,)  Passed  Midshipman  Blunt,  and  Midshipman  Blair  were 
appointed  to  draft  resolutions  befitting  this  melancholy  occasion. 

The  committee,  in  obedience  to  their  instructions,  reported  the 
following  resolutions,  which  were  unanimously  adopted. 

Resolved,  That  amid  the  toils  and  dangers  which  the  officers  of 
this  Expedition  have  been  called  upon  to  encounter,  they  could  have 
incurred  no  deeper  calamity  than  the  untimely  death  of  their  beloved 
coadjutors.  Lieutenant  Joseph  A.  Underwood  and  Midshipman  Wilkes 

Resolved,  That  the  loss  of  these  gentlemen  is  most  deeply  mourned, 
not  only  on  account  of  their  personal  worth,  but  from  our  sincere 
interest  in  the  Expedition,  which  has  thus  been  deprived  of  two  most 
efficient  officers. 

Resolved,  That  the  energetic  and  persevering  manner  in  which  the 
lamented  dead  performed  all  duties,  however  arduous,  offered  an 
example  worthy  our  emulation,  and  that  the  strongest  terms  of  sym- 
pathy with  their  friends  at  home,  are  inadequate  to  the  expression  of 
our  regrets. 

Resolved,  That  as  a  mark  of  afiection  and  respect  for  our  lost 
associates,  we  cause  a  monument,  designed  among  ourselves,  to  be 
erected  to  their  memory,  in  the  cemetery  at  Mount  Auburn. 

Resolved,  That  a  copy  of  these  resolutions  be  transmitted  to  the  be- 
reaved relations  of  Lieutenant  Underu^ood  and  Midshipman  Henry. 

It  was  further  resolved,  that  a  committee  of  nine  persons  be  appointed 
to  carry  the  foregoing  resolutions  into  effect,  and  that  the  committee 
consist  of  the  following  gentlemen:  Captain  W.  L.  Hudson,  Lieu- 
tenants James  A  Id  en  and  Case,  Dr.  J.  C.  Palmer,  T.  R.  Peale,  (orni- 
thologist,) Passed  Midshipman  S.  Blunt,  Purser  W.  Spieden,  Midship- 
men G.  W.  Clark  and  J.  Blair. 

Resolved,  That  the  sum  of  two  thousand  dollars  be  appropriated  for 



the  erection  of  the  monument,  and  that  the  pursers  of  the  Expedition 
be  authorized  to  charge  the  said  sum  to  the  officers  and  scientific  corps 
in  proportion  to  the  rate  of  their  several  salaries. 

The  subject  of  an  inscription  was  referred  to  a  future  meeting,  and 
the  committee  was  instructed  to  select  a  model  from  the  designs  which 
they  might  hereafter  receive.     The  meeting  then  adjourned. 

t^'^^i      j^A 














JULY  24,  1840. 



MAY,  1839. 



















312  MALOLO. 

Since  our  return  this  nnonument  has  been  erected  at  Mount  Auburn, 
after  a  design  by  Mr.  Drayton,  by  John  Struthers  and  Son,  of  Phila- 
delphia.    The  opposite  wood-cut  is  a  representation  of  it. 

Another  deserter  from  the  Peacock  was  recovered,  being  delivered 
up  by  the  king.  The  amount,  according  to  the  regulations,  was  at 
once  paid  for  his  apprehension. 

The  Kai-viti  schooner.  Passed  Midshipman  Harrison,  arrived  with  a 
load  of  yams  from  Somu-somu,  having  on  board  the  nnate  and  cooper 
of  the  ship  Shylock,  Captain  Taylor,  which  vessel  had  been  lost  on 
Turtle  Island  on  the  20th  of  June.  The  mate  stated  that  the  ship  was 
run  on  the  reef  about  ten  o'clock,  p.  m.,  when  seventeen  of  the  crew 
narrowly  escaped  in  two  boats,  leaving  eight  on  the  wreck,  whose  fate 
was  unknown.  The  two  boats  reached  Vavao  in  two  days  and  a  half, 
without  any  provisions.  Five  of  the  seventeen,  including  the  captain, 
mate,  cooper,  and  two  men,  joined  a  missionary  schooner,  and  reached 
Somu-somu,  and  thence  the  mate  and  cooper  came  in  the  Kai-viti  to 
join  the  squadron. 

William  Smith,  ordinary  seaman,  was  accidentally  drowned  from  on 
board  the  Kai-viti  during  her  last  cruise.     (See  Appendix  XVI.) 

On  the  2d  of  August,  a  sail  was  descried  oft'  the  island  of  Kie. 
Lieutenant  Budd  was  despatched  with  a  boat  to  board  and  ofl!er 
her  any  assistance  that  she  might  require ;  she  was  brought  in 
under  the  pilotage  of  that  officer,  and  was  found  to  be  the  whale- 
ship  Triton,  Captain  Parker,  without  any  guns  or  arms  on  board 
whatever ! 

Had  it  not  been  for  the  presence  of  the  squadron,  she  would  at  once 
have  been  taken  possession  of  by  the  natives,  on  learning  that  such  was 
the  fact.  When  such  imprudence  is  committed,  it  is  not  surprising 
that  so  many  ships  that  have  gone  into  the  Pacific  have  never  been 
heard  of  In  many  cases,  doubtless,  not  one  has  been  left  to  tell  the 
tale  of  the  many,  very  many,  valuable  lives  that  have  been  lost  from 
over-confidence  in  these  treacherous  savages. 

This  alone  would  point  out  the  strong  necessity  of  providing  our  nu- 
merous and  hardy  navigators  with  a  correct  knowledge  of  these 
islands,  as  well  as  those  still  further  to  the  westward. 

I  am  happy  to  know  that  we  shall  enable  the  navigator  to  visit  this 
group  without  fear  and  with  comparatively  little  danger,  if  he  will  but 
observe  a  proper  share  of  caution;  and  there  is  now  open  to  him  one 
of  the  best  groups  in  the  Pacific  for  obtaining  supplies  and  refreshing 
his  men  after  their  arduous  labours. 

The  time  having  elapsed,  the  king  was  punctual  in  sending  off*  such 

MALOLO.  313 

portions  of  the  flags  stolen  as  he  had  been  able  to  recover,  soliciting 
pardon  for  the  offence  of  his  people,  and  making  an  offering  of  ten  hogs 
and  one  thousand  yanns  for  the  flags  not  returned.  This  offering, 
Captain  Hudson  received,  deternnining  before  leaving  to  repay  their 
full  value. 

Captain  Eagleston,  in  the  Leonidas,  having  completed  his  cargo  of 
biche  de  mar  at  Mali,  again  anchored  at  Muthuata,  and  communicated 
that  Gingi,  the  chief  suspected  of  the  murder  of  Cunningham,  had  told 
him  that  the  old  king  of  Muthuata  had  never  sent  after  the  murderers  as 
he  had  promised. 

An  otficer  was  at  once  sent  on  shore,  with  David  Whippy  as  inter- 
preter, to  tell  the  king  what  had  been  heard,  and  to  demand  the  mur- 
derers forthwith.  The  king,  on  his  part,  made  many  asseverations 
that  he  had  uttered  no  lies,  and  had  not  deceived  us,  but  had  made 
every  attempt  to  take  the  murderers ;  that  his  people  were  now  in  the 
bush,  and  that  when  they  returned  he  would  call  a  meeting,  and  let 
Captain  Hudson  know  in  the  morning. 

The  Porpoise  joined  the  squadron  from  Ovolau,  on  the  7th  of 

As  nothing  was  heard  from  the  king.  Lieutenant  Walker  was  des- 
patched on  shore,  with  the  interpreter,  to  ascertain  the  cause.  The 
king  replied,  that  he  was  afraid,  for  the  people  of  the  town  of  Naven- 
darra,  where  the  murder  had  taken  place,  had  sent  him  word,  "  That 
if  he  interfered,  they  would  come  and  burn  him  out."  This  proved 
what  had  been  for  a  long  time  suspected,  that  the  old  king's  power  was 
all  but  extinct;  and  Captain  Hudson,  under  the  circumstances,  did  not 
feel  justified  in  punishing  them. 

The  day  before  his  departure,  he  paid  the  king  and  chiefs  a  visit, 
gave  them  some  advice  relative  to  their  future  conduct,  and  mentioned 
to  them  that  he  was  going  away.  The  king  and  chiefs,  with  great 
naivete,  replied  that  they  were  extremely  glad  to  hear  it,  for  they 
had  been  in  constant  dread  of  having  their  town  burnt,  in  conse- 
quence of  the  number  of  lies  that  were  constantly  told  to  him  of 

During  the  stay  of  the  vessels  at  Muthuata,  one  of  the  mountaineers 
who  frequented  the  town,  stole  a  comb  from  the  king's  house.  On 
search  being  made,  the  thief  was  discovered  among  the  mangrove- 
bushes,  where  he  was  captured  and  taken  before  the  king,  who  ordered 
his  punishment  after  the  following  mode.  They  laid  him  on  a  canoe- 
mast,  about  seven  inches  in  diameter,  one  end  resting  on  a  log  a  little 
above  the  ground ;  his  hands  were  tied,  and  his  arms  stretched  beyond 

VOL.  III.  2B  40 

314  MALOLO. 

his  head  on  the  mast;  they  then  took  a  rope,  an  inch  and  a  half  in 
thickness,  when,  beginning  at  his  ankles,  they  wound  it  around  his 
body  and  the  mast,  the  turns  being  taken  not  far  apart,  up  to  his 
shoulders,  allowing  his  head  only  to  move  a  little,  and  thus  exposed 
him  all  day  to  the  sun!  He  was,  towards  evening,  unbound  and 
suffered  to  go,  but  he  could  not  move,  and  was  carried  by  four  men. 
It  is  supposed  if  the  ships  had  not  been  there,  another  and  more  deadly 
punishment  would  have  been  inflicted  upon  him. 

I  have  now  to  speak  of  the  examination  the  Porpoise  made  of  the 
great  sea-reef  and  islands  to  the  west  of  the  Asaua  Group.  They  left 
the  anchorage  of  Ya-asaua  on  the  21st  of  July,  and  shortly  after  dis- 
covered a  sail,  which  proved  to  be  the  ship  Triton,  an  American 
whaler,  from  which  they  obtained  a  few  articles  of  provisions. 
Occasional  soundings  were  found  all  over  the  space  to  the  east 
of  the  island  of  Biva,  the  most  western  of  the  group,  which  I  have 
already  spoken  of  as  being  in  sight  from  the  high  peaks  that  were 
observed  on. 

On  the  night  of  the  21st  the  brig  struck  several  times  with  great 
violence  on  a  coral  shoal,  but  got  over  in  safety.  The  next  day  they 
v/ere  near  Biva,  a  long  low  island,  with  two  smaller  ones  connected 
with  it  covered  with  cocoa-nut  trees.  Boats  were  sent  out  to  examine 
it.  The  island  is  surrounded  by  a  reef,  and  affords  no  anchorage ;  it 
is  inhabited  by  about  fifty  souls.  Fifteen  of  them  came  around  the 
boat's  crew  on  their  landing,  armed  with  clubs  and  spears,  but  they 
seemed  very  timid  and  inoffensive.  They  said  they  had  suffered 
much  from  want  of  food,  and  that  some  had  even  perished  from  star- 
vation. The  island  did  not  seem  to  produce  any  thing  but  cocoa-nuts, 
of  which,  after  much  difficulty,  a  few  were  procured.  In  their  trade 
with  us  they  preferred  fish-hooks  to  any  thing  else,  and  gave  as  a 
reason  to  Alike  the  pilot,  that  with  them  they  could  obtain  food. 
They  stated  that  in  times  of  scarcity  each  person  was  allowed  no 
more  than  three  cocoa-nuts  a  day.  Their  koro  was  small  and  not  far 
from  the  place  of  landing;  but  it  was  not  visited,  as  they  seemed 
unwilling  that  the  party  should  do  so. 

After  obtaining  sights  for  chronometers  and  making  the  necessary 
examinations,  they  returned  to  the  brig,  and  found  the  whaling-ship 
in  company. 

The  reef  that  surrounds  Biva  extends  three  miles  to  the  south 
of  the  island.  Near  its  southern  end  is  the  opening,  but  it  is  not 
practicable  even  for  a  small  vessel,  without  danger  from  the  nume- 
rous coral  lumps. 

MALOLO.  315 

The  great  sea-reef  was  entirely  lost  sight  of  until  approaching 
towards  Malolo  and  the  small  islands  to  the  north  of  it.  The  latter 
are  numerous,  and  as  they  have  no  names,  and  are<  as  it  were, 
detached  from  the  Asaua  Group,  I  have  called  the  separate  islands 
after  some  of  the  officers  of  the  Expedition,  and  the  whole  the 
Hudson  Isles.  Finding  also  many  others  in  a  cluster  on  the  north- 
east side  of  the  group,  I  have  given  them  the  name  of  Ringgold  Isles, 
and  named  the  several  islands  after  some  of  the  officers  engaged  in  the 
survey  of  them. 

On  the  25th,  the  Porpoise  passed  through  the  Malolo  Passage,  and 
shortly  after  joined  company  with  the  tender,  near  Malolo,  as  has  been 
before  related. 

The  reunion  of  the  several  vessels  of  the  squadron  did  not  give  rise 
to  the  feeling  of  pleasure  which  had  attended  such  meetings  on  other 
occasions.  A  deep  gloom  on  the  contrary  was  spread  over  the  minds 
of  all  by  the  melancholy  fate  of  their  comrades,  who  had  been  the 
victims  of  the  butchery  at  Malolo.  In  honour  of  their  memories  a 
funeral  sermon  was  preached,  on  the  10th  August,  by  the  chaplain, 
before  the  assembled  officers  and  crews.  The  address  was  afTectins: 
and  appropriate,  and  on  our  arrival  at  Oahu  was  published  at  the 
request  of  the  officers. 

On  the  10th  of  August,  in  the  afternoon,  the  squadron  beat  down  to 
Mali,  and  all  the  necessary  preparations  were  made  for  going  to  sea 
the  next  day.  Among  these,  several  transfers  were  made  in  the 
officers  of  the  squadron. 

But  a  few  parts  of  the  group  still  required  some  further  examination, 
viz.:  Natava  Bay,  lying  to  the  eastward,  together  with  Rambe  Island 
and  the  adjacent  reefs,  and  the  sea-reef  extending  from  Kie  Island 
towards  Round  Island.  I  was  desirous,  also,  of  looking  after  our  ship- 
wrecked countrymen  on  Turtle  Island.  I  therefore  gave  the  Porpoise 
and  tender  orders  to  execute  these  remaining  duties,  for  which  see 
Appendix  XY. 

We  beat  out  of  the  passage  of  Mali,  and  discharged  all  the  in- 
terpreters and  pilots  we  had  employed.  They  were  paid  off,  and 
put  on  board  their  schooner  the  Kai-viti.  It  gives  me  pleasure  to 
bear  testimony  to  their  respectability  and  good  conduct  during  our 

The  services  of  these  men  were  of  great  value  to  the  Expedition. 
To  their  acquaintance  with  the  natives,  I  feel  myself  indebted  for 
much  of  the  information  I  have  been  able  to  give  of  this  extraordinary 


I\l  A  L  O  L  O. 

On  taking  our  final  departure  from  these  islands,  all  of  us  felt  great 
pleasure ;  Vendovi  alone  manifested  his  feeling  by  shedding  tears  at 
the  last  view  of  his  native  land. 





2B2  (317) 


184  0. 

The  Feejee  Group  is  situated  between  the  latitudes  of  15°  30'  and 
19°  30'  S.,  and  the  longitudes  of  177°  E.,  and  178°  W.  It  comprises 
one  hundred  and  fifty-four  islands,  sixty-five  of  which  are  inhabited. 
The  remaining  eighty-nine  are  occasionally  resorted  to  by  the  natives 
for  the  purpose  of  fishing,  and  taking  biche  de  mar.  There  are  also 
numerous  reefs  and  shoals.  The  latter  occupied  much  of  our  time 
and  attention,  and,  with  the  numerous  harbours,  have  been  fully 

The  shortness  of  the  time  we  spent  in  the  group  may  perhaps  incline 
some  to  doubt  the  accuracy  of  our  surveys.  I  am  however  well  satis- 
fied myself,  that  with  the  exception  of  the  south  side  of  Kantavu,  every 
portion  of  the  group  has  been  as  thoroughly  examined  as  is  necessary 
for  any  nautical  purpose,  or  for  those  of  general  geography.  The  south 
side  of  Kantavu,  according  to  the  reports  of  the  natives  and  white 
pilots,  contains  no  harbours,  affords  no  shelter  for  vessels,  and  more- 
over had  been  already  examined  by  the  French  Expedition. 

During  our  stay  at  Levuka,  we  obtained  full  sets  of  moon  culmi- 
nating stars  for  the  longitude,  placing  it  in  178°  52'  40-78"  E. ;  and 
circummeridian  observations  of  sun  and  stars,  making  its  latitude  17° 
40'  46-79"  S.  For  the  other  points  whose  positions  were  determined, 
I  must  refer  to  our  tables.  These  were  all  carefully  fixed  by  meridian 
distances  from  Levuka,  in  the  island  of  Ovolau,  which  occupies  nearly 
a  central  position  in  the  group.  Its  position  will  be  more  clearly  per- 
ceived and  understood  by  reference  to  the  map  of  these  islands,  which 
will  be  found  in  the  atlas.  At  Ovolau,  a  regular  series  of  observations 
for  magnetic  results  were  gone  through.     Some  interesting  magnetic 


320  FEEJEE    GROUP. 

disturbances  took  place,  which  were  observed  with  Gauss's  needle,  and 
will  be  found  in  the  chapter  on  magnetism,  where  also  are  recorded 
the  dip  and  variation  at  the  different  points. 

For  the  manner  in  which  the  detail  of  the  survey  of  this  group  was 
accomplished,  I  have  to  refer  to  the  Hydrographical  Memoir,  where  it 
will  be  fully  explained  and  illustrated.  Taking  into  account  the  methods 
employed,  and  the  means  placed  at  my  disposal,  it  will,  I  trust,  be 
apparent  that  the  comparatively  short  time  in  which  so  great  a  quantity 
of  work  was  performed,  can  be  no  reason  why  its  results  should  not  be 
relied  upon. 

Besides  the  four  vessels  of  the  squadron,  which  were  for  a  con- 
siderable part  of  the  time  under  way,  seventeen  boats  were  actively 
engaged  in  the  surveys.  Even  the  amount  of  work  performed  will 
give  but  little  idea  how  arduous  the  duties  were.  The  boats  were 
absent  from  the  vessels  from  fifteen  to  twenty  days  at  a  time,  during 
which  the  officers  and  men  rarely  landed,  and  were  continually  in 
danger  from  the  treachery  of  the  natives,  who  were  ever  upon  the 
watch  for  an  opportunity  to  cut  them  off.  It  gives  me  great  pleasure 
to  be  able,  with  but  few  exceptions,  to  bear  witness  to  the  untiring  zeal 
of  those  who  were  attached  to  the  Expedition,  and  to  the  accuracy 
with  which  the  work  was  performed  ;  and  in  the  cases  where  error  or 
careless  work  was  suspected,  the  doubtful  parts  were  resurveyed,  cor- 
recting any  mistake  which  might  have  been  committed  in  the  first 
instance,  and  verifying  the  survey  where  it  was  accurate. 

The  opportunities  of  the  naturalists  were  as  great  as  could  he 
afforded  them  consistently  with  their  safety.  It  was  considered 
desirable  that  the  interior  of  the  large  islands  should  be  reached;  this 
was  partly  effected  up  the  river  Wai-levu,  by  Lieutenant  Budd. 
But  journeys  on  foot  into  the  interior  were  out  of  the  question,  and 
only  those  parts  of  the  islands  in  the  immediate  proximity  of  the  sea- 
shore could  consequently  be  visited  with  safety.  Many  novelties 
have  been  obtained.  For  a  more  full  description  of  the  several 
branches  of  natural  history  and  botany,  I  would  refer  the  reader  to 
the  reports  of  the  different  naturalists. 

The  climate  of  the  different  sides  of  the  islands  may,  as  in  all  the 
large  Polynesian  islands,  be  distinguished  as  wet  or  dry,  the  weather 
side  being  subject  to  showers,  while  to  leeward  it  is  remarkably  dry, 
and  droughts  are  of  long  continuance.  The  difference  in  tem- 
perature is  however  small,  and  on  comparing  the  meteorological 
journal  kept  on  board  the  Peacock,  on  the  west  side  of  Vililevu, 
with  that  kept  at  Levuka,  I  find  that  at  the  same  hours  they  stand 
within  two  degrees  of  each  other. 

FEEJEE    GROUP.  30^ 

The  appearance  of  the  vegetation  shows  this  difference  of  cHmate 
more  strongly  than  the  thermometer ;  for  on  the  lee  side,  the  islands 
have  a  baiTen  and  burnt  appearance,  while  the  weather  sides  exhibit 
a  luxuriant  tropical  vegetation. 

Our  stay  in  this  group  was  not  long  enough  to  enable  us  to  speak 
of  the  vicissitudes  of  the  seasons,  yet  we  had  time  to  observe  a  great 
change  in  the  plants,  whose  flowers  succeeded  each  other.  It  is  by 
these  that  the  natives  are  guided  in  their  agricultural  occupations. 
Thus  the  scarlet  flowers  of  the  Erythrina  indica,  mark  the  season  of 
planting,  and,  according  to  some  of  the  white  residents,  the  natives 
encourage  the  growth  of  this  plant  near  the  towns,  for  the  purpose  of 
pointing  out  the  proper  time  for  this  important  operation  in  agriculture. 

The  mean  temperature  at  Ovolau,  during  the  six  weeks  that  the 
observatory  was  established  there,  was  77-81°.  The  barometer  stood 
at  30-126  in.  The  lowest  temperature  was  62° ;  the  highest  96°.  The 
first  occurred  at  4  a.  m.  on  the  23d,  the  last  at  2  p.  m.  on  the  25th  June. 

The  only  bad  weather  that  was  experienced  in  the  Feejee  Group, 
was  from  the  7th  to  the  11th  July,  during  which  time  the  wind  blew 
constantly  from  the  southeast,  and  was  attended  with  a  light  rain. 

The  winds,  from  April  to  November,  prevail  from  the  east-northeast 
to  southeast  quarter,  at  times  blowing  a  fresh  trade-wind.  From  No- 
vember to  April  northerly  winds  are  often  experienced,  and  in  the 
months  of  February  and  March  heavy  gales  are  frequent.  They 
usually  begin  at  the  northeast,  and  pass  around  to  the  north  and  north- 
west, from  which  quarters  they  blow  with  most  violence  ;  then  hauling 
to  the  westward,  they  moderate.  They  generally  last  two  or  three 
days.  A  very  heavy  gale  was  experienced  from  22d  of  February  to 
the  25th,  which  may  have  been  the  same  that  was  felt  by  us  at  New 
Zealand,  on  the  1st  of  March.  If  they  were  connected,  it  would  make 
the  vortex  upwards  of  six  hundred  miles  in  diameter.  The  only  data 
I  was  enabled  to  get,  at  all  to  be  depended  upon,  was  from  Captain 
Eagleston,  who  was  lying  in  his  ship  under  Toba  Peak,  on  the  north 
shore  of  Vitilevu.  The  gale  began  from  the  northeast,  with  heavy 
rain,  on  the  morning  of  the  22d.  During  the  night,  and  morning  of  the 
23d,  it  was  more  to  the  north,  increasing  with  violent  gusts.  They  let 
go  a  third  anchor,  and  sent  down  the  topmasts  and  lower  yards.  On 
the  24th,  the  gale  was  the  same,  attended  with  much  rain  and  wind, 
hauling  to  the  westward  at  midnight  of  the  25th.  It  became  north- 
west in  the  morning,  when  it  began  to  moderate,  the  wind  hauling 
gradually  to  the  southward,  when  it  cleared  off.  The  inissionaries 
could  give  me  no  further  information,  than  that  the  gale  had  lasted  four 
days.    This  gale  was  not  felt  at  Tonga,  although  they  had  strong  winds 

VOL.  III.  41 

323  FEEJEE    GROUP. 

there  at  that  time.  It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that  the  foreign  missionary 
establishments  should  not  be  furnished  with  a  few  instruments  to  aid 
them  in  making  observations  upon  the  climate.  I  have  found  some  of 
them  without  even  a  thermometer. 

The  tides  throughout  the  group  appear  to  be  very  irregular,  until 
they  are  closely  studied.  The  flood  sets  in  opposite  directions  on  the 
eastern  and  western  sides  of  the  group.  Thus,  on  the  south  side  of 
Vanua-levu,  it  flows  from  the  east  as  far  as  Buia  Point,  where  it  is  met 
by  the  flood  coming  from  the  west.  It  is  high  water  at  Ovolau  at 
6^  10™,  on  the  full  and  change  of  the  moon.  At  Muthuata  5''  30"'. 
The  manner  in  which  the  tide  flows  will  be  better  understood  by  refer- 
ence to  the  map  of  the  gi'oup,  on  which  it  is  exhibited. 

From  the  observations  of  the  Porpoise,  and  information  obtained  from 
the  natives,  there  appears  to  be  a  continual  current  setting  to  the  east- 
ward, at  the  rate  of  about  half  a  mile  an  hour.  This  current  we  ob- 
served to  exist  both  on  the  north  and  south  sides  of  the  island;  and  lam 
disposed  to  think  it  would  be  found  to  prevail  for  the  most  of  the  year. 

The  greatest  rise  and  fall  of  the  tide  is  six  feet.  The  currents  set 
strongly  in  and  out  of  the  passages,  until  the  water  rises  above  the 
level  of  the  reefs,  when  it  flows  over  in  all  directions,  and  its  force  is 
much  decreased. 

Earthquakes  are  not  unfrequent :  according  to  the  white  residents, 
they  generally  occur  in  the  month  of  February.  Several  shocks  are 
often  felt  in  a  single  night.  The  only  place  where  there  are  any 
visible  signs  of  volcanic  heat,  is  Savu-savu ;  but  several  islands  in  the 
group  exhibit  signs  of  craters.  One  of  these  is  at  the  west  end  of 
Kantavu.  There  are  others  at  Nairai,  Goro,  and  in  the  Ringgold 
Isles.  The  peaks,  however,  are  usually  basaltic  cones  or  needles, 
some  of  which  rise  to  the  height  of  several  thousand  feet,  and  no  run- 
ning stream  of  lava  has  been  seen  occurring  on  any  of  these  islands. 
It  may  consequently  be  inferred,  that  the  date  of  the  formation  of  these 
islands  is  more  remote  than  that  of  the  other  groups  of  Polynesia. 
Volcanic  conglomerate,  tufa,  and  compact  and  scoriaceous  basalts  are 
found,  of  every  texture  and  colour,  and  in  all  states  of  decomposition. 
When  decomposed,  they  afford  a  rich  soil,  which,  clothed  with  a 
luxuriant  foliage,  covers  the  islands  to  their  very  tops,  clinging  to  every 
point  where  it  is  possible  for  a  plant  to  take  root.  This  rich  vegetation 
gives  a  degree  of  beauty  to  the  aspect  of  the  whole  group,  that  is 
scarcely  surpassed  in  any  part  of  the  world. 

In  relation  to  the  population  of  these  islands,  it  was  found  difficult 
to  obtain  information  that  could  be  implicitly  relied  upon,  and  we  had 
-eason  to  suspect  that  the  white  residents  rather  overrated  the  number 



of  inhabitants.  There  is,  however,  one  circumstance,  which  renders 
it  more  easy  to  obtain  satisfactory  information  in  relation  to  the 
amount  of  population  in  this  group,  than  in  almost  any  of  the  others, 
namely,  the  hostile  feelings  which  exist  between  the  different  tribes. 
This  renders  it  impossible  for  the  inhabitants  of  another  district  to 
flock  to  that  where  ships  are  lying ;  and  there  is  no  chance  of  counting 
the  same  persons  a  second  time,  as  we  inferred  it  was  probable  had 
been  the  case  elsewhere,  particularly  at  Tahiti. 

The  number  of  natives  at  Levuka  during  our  stay  seldom  varied 
more  than  could  be  accounted  for  by  visits  from  the  neighbouring 
towns.  I  adopted  the  plan  of  counting  the  inhabitants  wherever  I  had 
an  opportunity,  in  order  to  check  the  estimate  given  me  by  others. 
The  following  account  of  the  numbers  in  the  several  districts,  &c.,  I 
believe  to  be  as  correct  as  it  is  possible  to  arrive  at. 

The  islands  of  Ovolau  and  Kantavu  are  the  most  thickly  peopled. 
The  whole  group  contains  about  130,000  inhabitants,  who  are  divided 
as  follows  : 

Ambau        . 












South  side,  from  Rewa  to  R 



North  shore  from  Verata  to 













































Asaua  Group 


Eastern  Gro 





324  FEE. TEE    GROUP. 

This  of  course  can  be  considered  only  as  an  approximation,  but  I 
am  inclined  to  believe  it  rather  above  than  below  the  actual  number 
of  inhabitants.  It  will  be  perceived  that  I  have  set  down  no  more  than 
five  thousand  for  the  number  of  inhabitants  of  the  interior,  although 
there  are  a  number  of  persons  who  believe  that  this  portion  of  the 
large  islands  is  densely  peopled.  But  all  my  own  observations  tend  to 
confirm  me  in  the  opinion,  that  there  are  very  few  inhabitants  in  the 
interior  of  these  islands.  The  circumstances  attending  a  residence 
there  are  so  contrary  to  Feejee  habits,  that  I  cannot  give  credit  to  a 
statement  so  entirely  at  variance  with  what  we  find  at  the  other 
Polynesian  islands.  The  food  that  the  natives  most  esteem,  is  gathered 
near  the  sea-shore  and  from  the  sea,  and  there  is  little  probability  that 
any  persons  would  dwell  in  the  interior  unless  compelled  by  necessity. 

The  natives  of  the  different  islands  are  of  various  sizes:  some  have 
their  forms  more  fully  developed  than  others,  as  will  have  been  seen. 
In  the  opinion  of  the  white  residents,  the  natives  of  Ovolau  were  thought 
to  be  of  inferior  size  to  those  of  the  other  islands ;  this,  however,  did 
not  strike  us  particularly,  and  I  was  of  opinion  that  they  were  a  fair 
specimen  of  the  natives  of  the  group.  Those  who  have  Tonga  blood 
are  designated  as  the  Vitonga,  and  are  decidedly  the  best-looking 
natives  that  are  met  with.  These  are  to  be  found  more  among  the 
eastern  islands  than  elsewhere,  showing  the  effects  of  the  intercourse. 

Our  accounts  of  the  language  are  derived  from  the  missionaries, 
who  are  making  great  exertions  to  become  thoroughly  acquainted 
with  it,  in  its  different  dialects,  of  which  there  are  several  in  the 
group.  They  have  found  more  than  ordinary  difficulty  in  bringing 
the  language  into  a  written  shape,  and  have  not  yet  fully  completed  the 
task.  The  characters  they  have  employed  for  this  purpose  are  the 
Roman,  and  they  have  made  such  changes  in  the  usual  sounds  of  some 
of  the  letters,  as  are  absolutely  necessary  to  express  the  peculiar  sounds 
of  the  Feejee  tongue.  The  vowels  are  used  generally  to  express  the 
sounds  they  denote  in  the  French  language,  except  the  broad  sound  of 
the  a,  which  that  letter  is  not  always  confined  to ;  Z>  is  used  to  represent 
the  sound  m^h ;  c,  that  of  the  Greek  &;  d  is  sounded  71^ d;  g,  ri'g.  Of 
all  the  letters,  r  and  s  retain  most  closely  the  sounds  by  which  they  are 
known  to  us ;  t  has  a  peculiar  sound,  partaking  of  th,  and  in  some  of 
the  districts  is  not  used  at  all.  The  sound  of  k  is  entirely  wanting  in 
the  Somu-somu  dialect,  whilst  it  is  much  used  and  distinctly  uttered  in 
the  others. 

In  the  Lakemba  dialect  they  use  the  j,  sounded  nja,  which  they 
derive  from  the  Tongese. 

The  following  is  the  alphabet  adopted  by  the  missionaries.     It  con- 

FEEJEE    GROUP.       ^  325 

sists  of  twenty-four  letters,  being  the  same  as  our  own,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  the  X,  which  is  wanting.  They  were  kind  enough  to  give  me 
the  sounds  of  the  different  letters,  which  are  as  follows: 

A,  a,  as  in  father,  or  in  manner.  M,  ma. 

B,  mb,  as  Bau,  sounded  Mbau.  N,  na. 

C,  tha  or  la,  sounded  tha.  O,  o. 

D,  nda  or  dina,  sounded  ndina.  P,  pa,  it  is  sounded  like  va. 

E,  eda,  sounded  enda.  Q,  nka. 

F,  fa,  soimded  like  v.  R,  ra. 

G,  nga.  S,  sa. 
H,  there  is  no  aspirate.  T,  ta. 

I,  e,  eng-.  U,  u,  French  sound. 

J,  ja,  this  sound  is  seldom  used.  V,  va. 

K,  ka.  W,  wa. 

L,  la.  Y,  ya. 

The  missionaries  were  at  first  inclined  to  doubt  that  any  affinity 
existed  betw^een  the  Feejee  language  and  the  other  dialects  of  Poly- 
nesia ;  but  this  arose  from  a  superficial  acquaintance  wdth  it,  for  on 
close  study  they  became  satisfied  that  their  original  impressions  had 
been  prematurely  adopted,  and  they  are  now  satisfied  that  it  is  no 
more  than  a  branch  from  the  great  root  whence  all  the  Polynesian 
languages  are  derived. 

Originality  and  boldness  appear  to  be  the  characteristics  of  the 
Feejee  tongue.  It  has  been  found  to  be  extremely  copious,  for  a 
vocabulary  of  five  thousand  six  hundred  words  has  been  already 
compiled,  and  still  much  remains  to  be  accomplished.  It  furnishes 
distinctive  names  for  every  shrub  and  every  kind  of  grass  the  islands 
yield ;  the  names  for  various  kinds  of  yam  amount  to  more  than  fifty ; 
each  species  of  taro  and  banana  has  its  distinctive  appellation ;  and 
there  are  words  for  every  variety  of  cocoa-nut,  as  well  as  for  every 
stage  of  its  ripeness,  from  the  bud  to  the  mature  fruit. 

Words  may  be  found  to  express  every  disease  to  which  the  body  is 
liable,  as  well  as  every  emotion  of  the  mind. 

The  most  delicate  shades  of  meaning  may  be  expressed ;  thus,  there 
are  no  less  than  five  words  equivalent  to  our  "  foolishness,"  each  of 
which  has  its  peculiar  signification. 

The  superlative  degree  of  adjectives  is  expressed  in  six  or  seven 
different  ways  ;  but  all  of  these  are  not  used  at  any  one  place,  and  this 
constitutes  one  of  the  features  to  which  the  differences  in  dialect  are  to 
be  ascribed.  These  differences,  however,  are  only  verbal  and  not 
idiomatic,  and  are  marked  by  an  omission  of  letters. 

According  to  the  missionaries,  at  Rewa  and  in  its  neighbourhood  the 
language  is  spoken  in  its  greatest  purity.     The  difference  of  dialect 



was  experienced  by  our  parties  in  places,  which  rendered  it  difficult  at 
times  to  communicate  with  the  natives,  but  this  was  apparently  con- 
fined to  small  districts.  The  natives  themselves  say,  that  the  language 
of  those  dwelling  on  the  west  end  of  Vitilevu,  is  different  from  that 
which  is  generally  spoken  in  the  group.  At  the  island  of  Malolo, 
which  lies  off  this  part  of  Vitilevu,  Vv'e  found  no  difficulty,  however,  in 
the  communications  we  had  with  the  natives.  But  this  subject  will  be 
amply  treated  in  the  Philological  Department,  and  on  that  perhaps  I 
may  have  trespassed  too  much  already. 

The  language  has  the  dual  number,  and  plurals  for  expressing  large 
and  small  numbers.  It  has  distinct  inclusive  and  exclusive  pronouns, 
and  certain  pronouns  that  are  only  used  in  speaking  of  articles  of  food. 
One  of  its  peculiarities  is  the  combination  of  consonants  without  the 
aid  of  the  usual  number  of  vowels  ;  as,  for  instance,  "  ndrondrolagi," 
a  rainbow ;  and  this  constitutes  such  a  difficulty  in  its  pronunciation, 
that  natives  of  no  other  group  can  utter  these  sounds,  unless  they  lived 
among  the  Feejees  from  infancy. 

The  language  affords  various  forms  of  salutation,  according  to  the 
rank  of  the  parties  ;  and  great  attention  is  paid  to  insure  that  the 
salutation  shall  have  the  proper  form.  Women  make  their  salutations 
in  different  words  from  those  employed  by  the  men,  and  no  less  care 
is  taken  by  them  to  observe  the  appropriate  formula.  Thus,  the 
wives  of  the  matanivanua,  or  landholders,  say,  on  passing  a  chief's 
house,  "  a-a-vakau  dn-wa-a ;"  women  of  the  lower  orders  say,  "  ndnoo ;" 
and  fishermen's  wives  say  "  wa-wa,"  stooping,  with  their  hands  behind 
their  heads. 

Equals  salute  each  other  with  "  ei  vilitui."  Men  of  the  lower 
orders  address  chiefs,  "  duo-wa  turanga,"  and  the  chiefs  reply,  "  ivea 

They  have  also  forms  of  expression  equivalent  to  our  "  yes,  sir,"  "  no, 
sir ;"  as  "  io  saka,"  and  "  sanga  saka." 

When  the  men  approach  a  chief  they  cry  out  "  duo-wa,"  to  which 
the  chief  replies,  "  wa !"  The  salutation  is  not  accompanied  by  any 
obeisance  of  the  body,  except  when  a  chief  is  met  on  his  route,  when 
all  retire  out  of  his  path,  crouch,  and  lower  their  clubs. 

The  mode  of  salutation  varies  in  different  parts  of  the  group ;  but 
in  all,  a  chief  would  be  thought  ill-mannered  if  he  did  not  return  the 
salutation  of  a  common  man. 

Dr.  Fox,  the  acting  surgeon  of  the  Vincennes,  had  an  opportunity, 
during  the  stay  of  the  ship  at  the  island  of  Ovolau,  to  examine  many 
of  the  diseases  of  the  natives,  and  of  practising  among  them  to  some 
extent.     The  most  remarkable  disease,  and  one  that  is  believed  to  be 

FEEJEE    GROUP.  307 

peculiar  to  this  group  of  islands,  is  what  the  natives  call  the  "  dthoke." 
It  somewhat  resembles  the  "  yaws"  of  the  West  Indies,  so  common 
among  the  negroes.  In  adults  who  are  afflicted  with  it,  it  assumes 
the  form  of  secondarj'-  syphilis,  and  those  unacquainted  with  the 
history  of  the  disease,  would  unhesitatingly  pronounce  it  a  syphilitic 
taint.  It  usually  attacks  children  from  two  to  nine  years  of  age, 
and,  according  to  the  natives'  and  white  men's  experience,  none 
escape.  Dr.  Fox  is  of  the  same  opinion ;  every  child  of  ten  years  of 
age  that  fell  under  his  observation,  had  had  this  disease,  and  in  many 
cases,  still  had  it. 

Its  first  symptoms  are  fretfulness  and  inactivity  on  the  part  of 
the  child  ;  a  swelling  of  the  fingers  and  pains  in  the  bones  follow  ; 
these  pains,  which  are  rheumatic  in  character,  continue  at  intervals 
throughout  the  disease,  and  are  followed  by  small  red  spots  in  dif- 
ferent parts  of  the  body.  These  become  round  pustules,  varying  in 
size,  and  result  in  ulcers.  After  the  eruption  has  appeared,  the  pains 
about  the  bones  cease  to  be  so  general.  Sometimes  they  disappear  in 
fine  weather,  but  return  when  it  is  damp  and  wet.  In  other  cases 
they  lose  the  fugitive  character,  but  have  a  constant  fixed  pain  over 
some  bone,  which  is  not  relieved  until  the  integuments  inflame  and 
carious  bones  find  exit. 

In  the  first  attack  there  is  much  irritation,  particularly  at  night, 
and  more  or  less  fever.  This  also  disappears  in  most  cases  as  soon  as 
the  eruption  is  out.  The  mouth,  arms,  and  umbilicus,  ulcerate  around 
the  whole  circumference.  The  extent  of  the  disease  about  these 
parts,  Dr.  Fox  thinks  is  owing  to  the  constant  scratching  of  the 
child.  Very  large  and  extensive  ulcers,  at  the  same  time,  exist  in 
various  parts  of  the  body,  some  having  the  appearance  of  a  fungous 
mass.  In  adults  the  pericranium  is  oftener  affected  than  in  children, 
the  bone  is  denuded,  and  frequently  pieces  of  the  table  of  the  skull 
come  away.  In  some  cases  the  eruption  does  not  appear,  or  after 
appearing  immediately  dries  up.  These  cases  are  said  to  prove  inva- 
riably fatal.  Cases  are  by  no  means  rare  of  the  loss  of  the  bones  of  the 
palate  and  nose.  In  several  instances  we  observed  the  upper  lip  en- 
tirely gone,  and  the  teeth  and  gums  denuded.  The  females,  in  particu- 
lar, are  very  often  seen  with  deep  cicatrices  about  the  lips,  so  much  so 
that  in  making  inquiries  relative  to  their  customs,  I  was  induced  to  ask 
Whippy,  if  making  cicatrices  in  their  lips  was  one  of  them.  Dr.  Fox 
imputes  it  to  the  dthoke,  though  Whippy  refers  it  to  tattooing  :  I  am 
inclined  to  believe  the  former  is  the  true  cause.  This  disease  varies  in 
duration,  from  nine  months  to  three  years.  The  ulcerations  continue 
longest  on  those   parts  of  the  body  that  are  easily  reached  by  the 

328  FEEJEE    GROUP. 

fingers,  and  those  about  the  mouth  frequently  remain  after  every  other 
vestige  of  the  disease  has  disappeared.  The  ulcers  begin  to  heal  in  the 
centre,  even  while  yet  enlarging  at  the  edges.  They  generally  attain 
the  size  of  a  dollar,  and  are  apt  to  become  fungous  about  the  mucous 
orifices.  The  natives  say  this  disease  has  always  prevailed  among 
them,  and  always  speak  of  it  as  a  Feejee  disease.  We  have  observed 
something  of  a  similar  nature  on  the  other  islands  which  I  have  here- 
tofore mentioned. 

For  this  disease  they  have  several  remedies  ;  and  when  the  pain  is 
severe  and  fixed,  they  make  incisions  over  the  part,  which  gives 
relief.  The  ulcers  are  usually  left  to  nature,  no  applications  being 
made  until  they  are  very  foul,  from  the  quantities  of  pus  discharged, 
which  serves  in  place  of  a  covering.  The  mother  takes  a  child  who 
is  affected  with  the  disease  to  a  running  brook,  and  with  a  sharp  shell 
or  piece  of  bamboo,  scrapes  the  ulcers  all  down  even  with  the  skin : 
she  then  rubs  them  with  soot,  and  the  ulcers  usually  heal  rapidly  after 
such  treatment.  It  seems  a  very  painful  one,  but  I  did  not  find  the 
children  complain  or  cry  much  while  undergoing  it. 

They  generally  believe  that  the  disease  will  run  its  course,  but  they, 
avoid  eating  pork  or  any  thing  sweet,  as  they  have  found,  by  expe- 
rience, it  is  hurtful  and  aggravates  the  disease.  If  the  eruption  has  a 
tendency  to  dry  up  at  too  early  a  period,  Dr.  Fox  says  they  give  an 
infusion  which  has  the  effect  of  driving  it  out;  but  he  did  not  learn 
particularly  what  it  was. 

While  at  Levuka,  Dr.  Fox  had  several  of  the  white  men,  affected 
with  the  disease,  under  treatment.  One  of  them  had  had  it  for  about 
a  year.  Dr.  Fox  says  that  this  man  was  improving  when  he  first  saw 
him,  but  was  still  labouring  under  severe  pains  in  damp  weather.  All 
the  ulcerations  had  been  healed  excepting  one  upon  the  fi'ontal  bone, 
which  was  exposed.  This  ulcer  was  of  the  size  of  a  shilling.  He 
placed  his  patient  on  a  generous  diet,  gave  him  sarsaparilla  freely,  and 
before  we  left  Ovolau  his  pains  had  left  him  entirel3^  The  outer  table 
of  the  skull  came  away,  and  the  parts  healed  over  it.  He  saw  this  man 
a  month  afterwards,  when  he  was  perfectly  well.  He  adopted  the  same 
treatment  with  a  number  of  others,  applying  the  Citron  ung.  to  the 
ulcers,  which  operated  like  a  charm,  healing  them  up  very  rapidly. 

Foreigners  are  not  exempt  from  this  disease.  If  they  remain  any 
time  in  the  group,  they  are  affected  in  the  same  manner  as  the  natives. 
Age  seems  to  influence  it  but  little. 

The  natives  assign  no  cause  for  the  disease,  but  Dr.  Fox  thinks  the 
climate,  diet,  and  habits  of  the  natives,  are  the  general  causes  pro- 
ducing it. 

FEEJEE    GROUP.  320 

The  influenza  is  at  times  prevalent  among  the  natives,  where  the 
foreigners  call  it  the  "dandy  cough."  It  was  so  prevalent,  that 
scarcely  one  escaped.  The  natives  give  it  the  name  of  the  Papalangi 
disease,  as  they  suppose  that  it  was  brought  among  them  by  the  whites. 
It  made  its  appearance  among  them  some  years  since,  and  again  about 
a  year  before  our  arrival.  Dr.  Fox  thinks,  from  the  description  he 
received  from  the  natives,  that  it  resembles  in  all  particulars  the  epi- 
demic that  raged  so  extensively  in  America  about  the  same  time.  From 
the  natives'  account,  the  last  time  that  it  occurred,  there  were  not 
enough  of  well  people  in  the  village  to  look  after  the  sick.  In  some 
villages  one-half  the  population  died.  Whippy  did  not  think  this  account 
exaggerated,  and  many  of  the  whites  say  that  at  least  one-tenth  of  the 
inhabitants  fell  victims  to  it,  either  at  the  time  of  the  attack  or  from  the 
effects  of  it. 

Whippy  said  that  the  mode  of  treating  it  was  to  drink  plenty  of 
warm  water,  roll  themselves  up  in  mats,  and  lay  themselves  down  in 
their  houses,  where  many  of  them  died.  Tui  Levuka,  when  asked  for 
information  about  it,  spoke  of  it  with  much  dread. 

From  the  observations  throughout  the  group,  we'  found  that  elephan- 
tiasis did  not  prevail  to  the  extent  that  we  had  remarked  at  the  more 
eastern  and  northern  groups.  It  is  said  to  prevail  most  at  the  isle  of 
Kantavu,  but  as  we  had  but  little  communication  with  its  natives,  I  am 
not  able  to  assert  that  this  is  correct. 

Dr.  Fox  remarks,  that  rheumatism  is  very  common,  more  particu- 
larly among  the  women.  Acute  rheumatism  is  not  very  prevalent. 
The  pain  is  principally  experienced  in  the  long  bones,  and  they  relieve 
it  as  they  do  other  pains,  by  making  deep  incisions  over  the  part 
affected :  for  this  purpose  sometimesj  when  cutting  about  the  joints, 
they  sever  the  tendons.  The  effect  of  this  practice  is  seen  in  large 
scars  upon  almost  every  individual. 

Dr.  Fox  saw  a  lad,  of  ten  years  old,  who  had  been  cut  in  all  direc- 
tions for  a  severe  rheumatism  he  was  subject  to.  Exostosis  of  all  the 
long  bones,  and  also  of  the  skull,  were  apparent  on  him.  He  had, 
however,  received  so  much  relief  from  it,  that  he  rather  sought  the 
operation.     He  suffered  the  most  severely  at  night,  and  in  bad  weather. 

Dysentery  has  never  prevailed  here  as  an  epidemic,  although  cases 
now  and  then  occur,  from  irregularities,  as  elsewhere.  The  disease 
of  the  spine  which  we  found  so  prevalent  aft  the  Samoan  Group,  is 
quite  rare  here. 

Of  phthisis  pulmonalis  Dr.  Fox  did  not  see  a  case,  aind  he  thinks  it 
must  be  rare.  In  his  inquiries  among  the  white  men^  he  heard  of  a 
disease   somewhat  resembling  it,  and  which?  he  thinks,  may  be  it,  or 

VOL.  III.  2C2  42 

330  FEEJEE    GROUP. 

some  acute  disease  of  the  lungs.  This  was  said  frequently  to  attack 
fine  stout  and  healthy  young  men,  who  would  be  seen  engaged  in  all 
kinds  of  sports  with  their  companions,  and  apparently  as  active  and  in 
as  good  health  as  any  around  them,  and  would  suddenly  contract  a 
cough,  become  emaciated,  and  in  a  few  days  it  would  prove  fatal  to 

Fevers,  whether  intermittent  or  remittent,  are  unknown. 

Ophthalmia  is  less  common  here  than  in  the  other  groups. 

Hernia  is  as  frequent  as  it  is  in  the  United  States. 

Primary  syphilis  does  not  exist  among  the  people,  as  far  as  the 
information  of  the  whites  sjoes.  No  case  of  it  occurred  among  our 
crew  during  our  visit;  nor  are  the  other  diseases  of  this  kind  found 

Bad  ulcers  on  the  extremities  are  frequent,  and  this  is  one  of  the 
most  disgusting  things  about  the  Feejee  men.  I  might  say,  that  al- 
most every  third  man  has  either  his  fingers  or  his  toes  ulcerated ;  but, 
though  more  common  among  the  Feejee  men,  it  is  also  frequent  among 
the  natives  of  the  other  groups.  These  ulcers  are  often  neglected,  even 
among  the  chiefs.  Our  friend  Mr.  Phillips  had  a  very  bad  one  on  his 
finger.  The  whites  who  reside  among  the  natives,  told  me  that  they 
frequently  had  them,  but  that  when  treated  in  time  they  were  easily 
cured.  The  natives,  however,  generally  leave  them  without  any  appli- 

They  have  no  physicians,  but  were  anxious  to  receive  medical 
advice  from  our  surgeons  ;  and,  when  the  kings  or  chiefs  took  medi- 
cine, it  sometimes  happened  that  all  their  people  were  desirous  to  take 
it  also. 

They  occasionally  suffered  great  distress  from  gunshot  wounds,  but 
the  nature  of  their  climate,  and  the  vegetable  diet  to  which  they  are  at 
most  times  restricted,  operate  to  efl^ect  cures  in  cases  that  would  else- 
where be  dangerous  under  the  most  skilful  treatment. 

By  their  constant  use  of  human  subjects,  they  have  become  some- 
what acquainted  with  the  anatomy  of  the  human  frame.  They  can, 
therefore,  perform  several  surgical  operations,  in  a  rude  way,  and  are, 
at  times,  successful  in  their  treatment  of  diseases,  although,  from  the 
following  anecdotes,  they  have  more  confidence  in  the  skill  and  know- 
ledge of  the  whites  than  in  themselves,  however  rude  the  practitioner. 
One  of  the  natives  of  Ambau  being  taken  sick  at  Levuka,  David 
Whippy  (who  told  the  story  to  me  himself)  proposed  to  bleed  him  from 
the  arm,  to  which  the  native  consented.  Not  having  any  lancets, 
Whippy  sharpened  his  sheath-knife  (such  as  is  used  by  sailors)  to  as 
fine  a  point  as  he  could  get  it,  punctured  the  vein  in  the  arm,  and  drew 


a  qiuinlity  of  blood,  which  at  once  alTordja  the  native  great  relief. 
He  soon  afterwards  returned  to  Ambau,  wdiere  he  related  the  circum- 
stances to  his  friends.  In  the  course  of  a  few  days  several  large  double 
canoes  arrived  at  Levuka  from  Ambau,  and  some  of  the  people  pro- 
ceeded to  David  Whippy's  house,  informing  him  that  they  had  come 
to  be  bled,  and  that  there  were  a  number  with  them  on  the  same 
errand.  Whippy  endeavoured  to  dissuade  them,  as  they  were  all 
stout-looking  fellows.  He  told  them  it  would  do  them  more  harm  than 
good,  and  that  they  did  not  require  it ;  but  all  he  could  say  was  of  no 
avail ;  they  had  come  from  Ambau  to  be  bled,  and  bled  they  would  be. 
Finding  all  his  remonstrances  fruitless,  the  old  sheath-knife  was  again 
put  into  requisition,  and  the  next  morning  the  one  hundred  and  fifty 
Ambau  men  returned  to  Ambau,  having  each  left  behind  him  a  tin  pot 
of  blood.  Many  of  the  natives,  since  then,  have  become  bleeders,  but 
occasionally  a  canoe  still  arrives  from  Ambau,  with  subjects  to  un- 
dergo the  operation  by  Whippy. 

While  young,  both  sexes  indulge  in  a  variety  of  amusements. 
Among  the  girls,  the  sports,  are:  vimoli,  which  is  a  species  of  legerde- 
main performed  by  keeping  five  or  six  oranges  circling  around  the 
head  ;  garali,  similar  to  our  hide  and  seek  ;  libigilla,  or  forfeits,  in 
which  there  are  two  parties,  one  of  which  wraps  a  girl  in  a  mat,  and 
carries  her  to  the  other,  who  is  to  guess  her  name;  if  the  guess  be  not 
correct,  yams  and  taro  must  be  paid  for  a  treat.  Meke  (dancing)  is 
also  a  favourite  amusement.  For  instruction  in  this  there  are  regular 
dancing-masters  and  mistresses,  who  are  much  esteemed,  and  receive 
high  prices  for  their  services.  Those  who  can  invent  new  figures  are 
most  in  request.  The  performers  in  the  common  dance  (nuka  i  ndina) 
are  generally  girls,  from  ten  to  fifteen  years  of  age.  These  arrange 
themselves  in  a  line,  in  a  place  selected  for  the  purpose,  which  is  usually 
a  green  in  the  village.  One  of  them  acts  as  leader,  and  stands  in  the 
middle  of  the  line,  a  little  in  advance  of  the  rest.  The  feet  of  the  per- 
formers are  seldom  moved  from  the  place,  and  the  dance  consists  alto- 
gether of  movements  of  the  body,  bowing,  twisting,  writhing,  from  side 
to  side,  and  backwards  or  forwards.  All  join  in  a  song,  and,  towards 
the  close,  arrange  themselves  in  a  semicircle,  when  the  dance  is  brought 
to  a  conclusion  by  a  simultaneous  clap  of  the  hands. 

The  boys  have  a  game  which  is  played  with  sticks.  One  is  set  in 
the  ground,  and  another,  sharpened  at  the  point,  is  thrown  at  it ;  the 
first  person  who  succeeds  in  striking  it,  wins.  They  have  also  the 
game  of  hide  and  seek,  and  another  called  vitaki,  which  consists  in 
throwing  a  stick  from  a  hollow  reed.  He  who  throws  farthest  is  the 
winner.     Men  of  two  different  towns  also  play  this  game  in  parties. 

832  PEEJEE    GROUP. 

A  place  about  two  hundred  feet  in  length  is  cleared  for  this  purpose, 
and  it  excites  great  interest,  often  producing  quarrels  attended  with 
bloodshed,  and  sometimes  wars. 

The  older  boys  are  trained  to  the  use  of  the  spear,  using  in  the 
exercise  long  reeds  and  sticks,  whose  ends  are  rolled  up  in  tapa,  in 
order  to  prevent  accident. 

The  Feejee  mode  of  sending  messages  (lotu)  is  as  follows :  a  chief, 
when  he  wishes  to  send  one,  gives  the  messenger  as  many  reeds  as 
the  message  is  to  contain  separate  subjects.  These  reeds  are  of  dif- 
ferent lengths,  in  order  to  distinguish  them  from  each  other.  When 
the  messenger  arrives  at  his  destination,  he  delivers  the  reeds  succes- 
sively, and  with  each  of  them  repeats  the  purport  of  the  part  of  the 
message  of  which  it  is  the  memorial.  Such  messages  are  carried 
and  delivered  with  great  accuracy;  and  the  messengers,  when  ques- 
tioned on  their  return,  repeat  them  with  great  precision. 

A  reed  is  also  used  as  the  pledge  on  closing  an  agreement,  and  the 
delivery  of  it  makes  it  binding.  If  a  chief  presents  a  reed,  or  sticks 
one  in  the  ground,  it  is  considered  as  binding  him  to  the  performance 
of  his  promise. 

The  women  are  kept  in  great  subjection,  and  this  is  not  accom- 
plished without  severity.  Their  lords  and  masters  frequently  tie  them 
up  and  flog  them,  and  even  the  whites  punish  their  native  wives,  which 
they  say  they  are  compelled  to  do,  as  without  the  discipline  to  which 
they  are  accustomed,  they  could  not  be  managed. 

The  women  are  besides  never  permitted  to  enter  the  mbure,  nor,  as 
we  have  seen,  to  eat  human  flesh,  at  least  in  public.  They  keep  the 
house  clean,  take  care  of  the  children,  weed  the  yam  and  taro  beds, 
and  carry  the  roots  home  after  the  men  have  dug  them  up.  Like 
other  property,  wives  may  be  sold  at  pleasure,  and  the  usual  price  is 
a  musket.  Those  who  purchase  them  may  do  with  them  as  they 
please,  even  to  knocking  them  on  the  head. 

The  girls  of  the  lower  classes  of  a  town  or  koro,  are  entirely  at  the 
disposal  of  the  chief,  who  may  sell  or  bargain  them  away  as  he  pleases. 

Next  to  war,  agriculture  is  the  most  general  occupation  of  this 
people.  To  this  they  pay  great  attention,  and  have  a  great  number 
of  esculent  fruits  and  roots  which  they  cultivate,  in  addition  to  many 
spontaneous  products  of  the  soiL 

Of  the  bread-fruit  tree  they  have  nine  different  kinds,  distinguished 
by  fruits  of  difl^erent  sizes  and  shapes,  and  the  figure  of  their  leaves. 
The  variety  called  umbudu,  is  the  largest,  sweetest,  and  most  agree- 
able to  the  taste ;  those  known  by  the  names  of  botta-bot  and  bucudo, 
are  also  excellent. 

FEE  JEE    GROUP.  33.3 

The  fruit  of  the  latter  are  oval-shaped  and  prickly;  when  baked 
or  roasted,  they  are  not  unlike  a  good  custard-pudding.  Nature 
seems  to  have  been  particularly  bountiful  in  her  supply  of  this  fruit, 
for  the  varieties,  in  season,  follow  each  other  throughout  the  year. 
March  and  April,  however,  are  the  months  in  which  it  is  found  in  the 
greatest  perfection;  and  it  may  be  considered  a  fortunate  circum- 
stance, that  many  of  the  sorts  ripen  between  the  seasons  of  taro  and 
yams.  If  the  bread-fruit  is  to  be  preserved,  it  is  prepared  by  scraping 
off  the  rind  with  a  piece  of  bivalve  shell ;  a  hole  is  then  dug  in  the 
ground  about  three  feet  deep,  of  the  form  of  an  inverted  bell,  the 
sides  of  which  are  lined  with  banana-leaves.  This  is  filled  with  the 
fruit  to  within  a  few  inches  of  the  top,  when  the  whole  is  thatched 
with  banana-leaves,  to  preserve  it  from  the  rain ;  many  stones  are  laid 
on  the  top  to  press  it  down,  and  keep  the  pigs  from  it.  After  a  while 
it  undergoes  fermentation,  and  subsides  into  a  mass,  somewhat  of  the 
consistency  of  new  cheese.  These  pits,  when  opened,  emit  a  nauseous, 
fetid,  and  sour  odour,  and  the  colour  of  the  contents  is  of  a  greenish 
yellow.  In  this  state  it  is  called  mandrai-uta,  or  native  bread,  of 
which  they  distinguish  several  kinds,  as  mandrai  n'dalo,  mandrai  y 
taro,  mandrai  sivisivi  of  the  ivi,  mandrai  vundi  of  bananas,  &c.  It  is 
said  that  it  will  keep  several  years,  and  is  cooked  with  cocoa-nut  milk, 
in  which  state  it  forms  an  agreeable  and  I  should  think  nutritious  food. 
To  my  taste,  however,  the  bread-fruit  is  better  baked  when  fresh,  and 
I  found  it  superior  here  to  that  of  any  of  the  other  islands  we  visited. 

There  are  other  uses  to  which  the  bread-fruit  tree  is  put ;  the  green 
leaves  are  employed  to  serve  their  victuals  on  ;  they  are  also  burnt, 
and  form  a  black  ashes,  from  which  the  natives  draw  a  ley,  which 
they  use  in  washing  their  heads  to  destroy  the  vermin,  which  so  much 
infest  them. 

The  general  height  of  the  bread-fruit  trees  is  fifty  feet,  and  some  of 
the  leaves  are  two  feet  in  length. 

The  banana  is  called  by  the  natives  vundi.  This  fruit  is  insipid,  but 
the  natives  make  a  very  nice  pudding  by  forming  a  cavity  in  the  fruit, 
which  they  fill  with  finely-grated  cocoa-nut,  and  pour  over  it  the  milk ; 
it  is  then  tied  up  in  the  leaves  and  boiled.  They  have  five  or  six 
varieties  of  this  fruit.  Of  the  plantain  we  found  three  varieties,  culti- 
vated to  a  great  extent  in  Vanua-levu.  The  natives,  instead  of 
hanging  up  the  fruit  until  it  becomes  mellow,  bury  it  in  the  ground, 
which  causes  it  to  appear  black  on  the  outside,  and  destroys  the 
flavour.  The  wild  species  of  Tahiti  and  Samoa,  called  by  the  natives 
fae,  was  here  found  cultivated,  displaying  its  rich  orange-coloured 
fruit,  densely  set  on  large  upright  spikes,  but  not  wild. 

334  FEEJEE    GROUP. 

The  cocoa-nut,  called  niu,  I  was  told  by  Whippy  that  the  natives 
say  they  have  three  varieties,  but  I  believe  our  botanists  obtained  no 
more  than  two,  which  are  distinguished  by  the  brown  and  green 
colours  of  the  nuts.  The  two  varieties  of  the  tree  are  much  the  same 
in  appearance,  and  frequently  grow  to  the  height  of  seventy  or  eighty 
feet ;  each  of  them  bears  from  ten  to  twenty  nuts.  The  natives  are  in 
the  habit  of  collecting  the  sap  from  the  flower-stalks  when  young,  by 
cutting  off"  the  extremity,  and  suspending  to  it  a  vessel :  this,  when 
fresh,  forms  a  pleasant  beverage ;  it  has  a  tartness  that  it  acquires  by 
the  length  of  time  it  takes  to  run,  but  is  in  other  respects  very  like  the 
milk  of  a  green  or  a  fresh  cocoa-nut.  What  all  voyagers  have  said  of 
this  tree  we  found  to  be  true;  only  instead  of  its  uses  being  exaggerated, 
as  some  have  supposed,  they  are  in  my  opinion  underrated:  a  native 
may  well  ask  if  a  land  contains  cocoa-nuts,  for  if  it  does,  he  is  assured 
it  will  afford  him  abundance  to  supply  his  wants.  One  circumstance, 
to  which  my  attention  was  early  drawn  by  Mr.  Brackenridge,  was 
the  peculiarity  of  its  growth,  which  would  seem  to  point  out  some- 
thing peculiar  in  its  constitution:  it  does  not  thrive  higher  than  six 
hundred  feet  above  the  sea.  All  those  seen  above  that  height  had 
a  sickly  appearance  ;  and  the  lower  it  grew,  even  where  its  roots 
were  washed  by  the  salt  water,  the  more  prolific  and  flourishing  it 

There  was  a  use  to  which  it  was  applied  here  that  we  had  not  before 
seen :  the  kernel  of  the  old  cocoa-nut  is  scraped,  and  pressed  through 
woody  fibres  ;  the  pulp  thus  formed  is  mixed  with  grasses  and  scented 
woods,  and  suffered  to  stand  in  the  hot  sun,  which  causes  the  oil  to 
rise  to  the  top,  where  it  is  skimmed  off".  The  residuum,  called  kora,  is 
pounded  or  mashed,  wrapped  in  banana-leaves,  and  then  buried  under 
salt  water,  covered  with  piles  of  stones.  This  preparation  is  a  com- 
mon food  of  the  natives,  and  will  keep  for  a  long  time ;  they  prepare 
it  as  a  kind  of  soup,  which  serves  them  (according  to  the  whites)  for 
tea  or  coffee.  A  large  quantity  of  the  oil  is  made  and  exported.  Of 
this  a  part  reaches  the  United  States,  where  it  is  manufactured  into 
soap,  and  again  sent  to  Polynesia  to  be  consumed.  The  wood  of  the 
cocoa-nut  is  only  used  for  fortifying  their  towns,  and  as  sills  for  their 

The  ivi  of  the  natives,  (Inocarpus  edulis,)  otherwise  called  the  Tahiti 
chestnut,  produces  a  large  nut  that  is  eaten  by  them,  and  is  the  prin- 
cipal food  of  the  mountaineers.  This  they  store  away  in  pits,  in  the 
same  manner  as  the  bread-fruit. 

The  papaw  apple,  (Carica  papaya,)  called  walete,  is  in  great  abun- 
dance, but  is  not  prized  by  the  natives. 

FEEJEE    GROUP.  335 

Shaddocks  were  in  great  abundance.  Both  the  red  and  white  kinds 
are  indigenous. 

The  same  bitter  orange  was  found  here  as  at  the  Samoan  Group. 
The  natives  of  Feejee  call  it  moh-tiri.  The  trees  grow  to  the  heiglit 
of  forty  feet.  They  give  the  name  of  moli  ni  papalangi,  or  the  white 
man's  orange,  to  the  lemon  and  sweet  orange.  They  were  both  intro- 
duced by  Mr.  Vanderford,  (from  Tahiti,)  about  the  year  1823. 

Several  new  native  fruits  were  seen.  One  of  these,  called  taravou, 
is  about  the  size  of  a  plum.  It  grows  on  a  large  tree,  and  has  a  bitter 
and  acrid  taste :  the  natives  are  very  fond  of  it. 

The  indava  is  also  much  esteemed,  both  by  the  natives  and  whites. 
The  fruit  is  about  the  size  and  shape  of  a  hen's  egg,  with  the  exception 
of  being  flattened  at  both  ends:  it  has  a  glutinous,  honey-like  taste,  has 
a  kernel,  and  grows  on  a  tree  about  fifty  feet  high. 

The  Malay  apple,  called  kabita,  was  also  found  here,  though  it  does 
not  appear  to  be  as  plentiful  as  at  Tahiti  and  the  Samoan  Group. 

They  have  also  several  other  fruits,  which  are  only  used  in  times  of 
scarcity,  and  when  hard  pressed  by  famine. 

The  new  species  of  tomato,  (Solanum,)  of  which  mention  has  already 
been  made,  may  be  almost  classed  with  the  fruits ;  it  is  cultivated  by 
the  natives  on  account  of  its  fruit,  which  is  round*,  smooth,  and  about 
the  size  of  a  large  peach;  when  ripe,  its  colour  is  yellow;  its  taste  was 
by  some  thought  to  have  a  strawberry  flavour.  We  have  made  every 
endeavour  to  introduce  the  plant  into  the  United  States,  by  sending 
home  seeds,  some  few  of  which  have  fallen  into  good  hands,  and  been 
taken  care  of;  but  I  regretted  to  find  the  greatest  part  had  been  dis- 
tributed to  those  who  had  not  taken  any  care  in  its  cultivation.  Fruit 
from  these  seeds  has,  however,  been  produced  in  Philadelphia.  The 
plant  will,  no  doubt  succeed  in  the  southern  section  of  the  Union.  It 
is  supposed  to  be  biennial.  There  were  also  two  smaller  varieties  of 
the  same  species,  which  the  natives  eat,  and  which  are  about  the  size 
of  a  small  egg. 

Mr.  Brackenridge  also  found  a  nutmeg  (Myristica)  on  the  heights 
of  Ovolau.  The  fruit  of  this,  when  green,  is  about  the  size  of  a 
pigeon's  egg,  with  a  round  kernel  and  a  large  quantity  of  mace 
around  it.  He  describes  the  kernel  as  having  a  greasy  taste,  and 
little  of  that  aromatic  flavour  distinctive  of  the  nutmeg  known  to  us. 
From  a  wound  in  the  bark  of  the  tree  issued  a  red  acrid  juice.  We 
did  not  learn  that  the  natives  make  any  use  of  this  plant. 

Pumpkins,  cucumbers,  Cape  gooseberry,  guava,  pine-apples,  water- 
melons, and  large  red  capsicums,  are  in  abundance. 

The  chief  proportion,  however,  of  the  food  of  the  natives  is  derived 


from  yams  (Dioscorea)  of  which  they  have  five  or  six  varieties.  One 
kind  is  found  growing  wild  on  Ovolau.  The  season  when  they  begin 
to  plant  their  yams  is  pointed  out  by  the  blossoming  of  the  Malay 
apple.  This  happens  about  the  beginning  of  August.  The  old  yam 
is  cut  into  triangular  pieces,  of  w^hich  from  four  to  six  are  obtained 
from  each  root,  according  to  its  size.  Care,  however,  is  taken  to 
notch  each  root  on  the  top,  in  order  that  no  mistake  may  occur  in 
planting.  Sometimes  entire  small  roots  are  planted.  One  set  is  put 
into  each  of  the  hills,  which  are  three  or  four  feet  apart.  The  yams 
are  from  six  to  eight  months  in  coming  to  perfection,  and  the  yam- 
digging  season  is  in  April  or  May.  The  crop  is  an  uncertain  one, 
and  the  product  is  from  one  to  fifteen  roots  in  each  hill.  In  some 
places  the  yam  attains  a  very  large  size,  as  in  Somu-somu,  where  I 
saw  some  four  or  five  feet  in  length  that  were  very  farinaceous. 
Around  all  the  koros  or  towns  are  houses  for  storing  the  supply  of 
yams,  in  which  they  keep  them  well  aired  and  protected  from  the  wet. 
In  all  parts  of  the  group  that  were  not  at  war,  we  found  them  in  great 
plenty ;  indeed,  they  have  already  become  an  article  of  export,  for 
cargoes  of  them  have  been  taken  to  Sydney  with  profit. 

There  is  another  root  called  kawai,  which  resembles  the  Malay 
batata.  The  tuber  of  this  is  oblong  and  of  a  brownish  colour;  the 
outer  skin  is  hard,  and  when  cooked,  peels  off  like  the  bark  of  a 
birch  tree :  it  is  white  and  farinaceous,  of  a  sweet  and  agreeable  taste, 
and  very  prolific.  The  natives,  in  lifting  the  large  tubers,  usually 
allow  the  smaller  ones  to  remain  for  the  succeeding  crop.  Our  horti- 
culturist was  of  opinion  it  would  be  desirable  to  introduce  this  root 
into  our  country,  which  any  vessel  coming  direct  from  the  Feejees 
could  easily  effect  by  bringing  the  small  tubers  alive:  it  would  un- 
doubtedly be  a  great  acquisition. 

At  Rewa,  a  root  called  ivia  is  found  in  the  marshy  grounds,  which 
is  peculiar  to  that  island.  It  is  perennial,  and  if  left  to  grow  several 
years,  reaches  an  immense  size,  becoming  thicker  than  a  man's  body, 
and  several  yards  long.  It  has  many  roots,  which  send  forth  others, 
all  of  which  throw  out  leaves  in  various  directions,  so  that  a  single 
plant  will  form  a  perfect  jungle.  When  used  for  food,  the  outside  is 
scraped  or  peeled  ofl',  and  the  inside,  after  being  cut  in  pieces,  is 
boiled ;  but,  however  well  cooked,  it  is  usually  tough.  It  is  also  made 
into  a  mandrai,  called  mandrai  sivi-sivi. 

The  Rewa  people,  in  consequence  of  their  possessing  this  root,  never 
fear  a  famine. 

Taro  is  grown  here  in  vast  quantities  on  the  margin  of  streams,  by 
which  the  patches  are  irrigated.     When  the  root  is  ripe,  the  greatei 

■       FEEJEEGROUP.  337 

part  of  it  is  cut  off  from  the  leaves ;  the  portion  which  is  left  attached 
to  them  is  at  once  replanted.  These  roots  are  prepared  for  eating  by 
boiling,  and  when  not  properly  cooked  an  acrid  juice  remains,  which 
will  smart  the  mouth  and  throat.  They  are  also  pounded  into  a  kind 
of  flour,  that  is  preserved  by  kneading  it  up  into  large  balls,  which 
they  make  into  puddings  with  cocoa-nut  milk.  Large  quantities  of 
taro  are  also  stored  away  in  pits,  where  it  becomes  sour,  and  is  after- 
wards used  by  the  natives  as  mandrai. 

The  natives  also  make  use  of  the  arrow-root  (Maranta  arundinacea), 
which  is  found  in  great  abundance  in  a  wild  state.  They  pound  it  up 
into  a  kind  of  flour,  for  puddings.  This  plant  might  be  cultivated  ex- 
tensively, and  would  prove  a  valuable  article  of  commerce. 

Sugar-cane  is  somewhat  cultivated  by  the  Feejees,  who  use  it  for 
chewing,  for  thatching  their  houses,  and  for  arrows.  It  also  grows 
wild  in  all  parts  of  the  islands. 

The  root  of  the  ti  (Dracaena),  which  they  wrap  closely  up  and  bake, 
contains  even  more  saccharine  juice  than  the  sugar-cane,  and  is  very 
agreeable  to  the  taste. 

The  turmeric  (Curcuma)  also  claims  much  of  their  attention.  The 
natives  dry  it,  and  pulverize  the  part  of  the  root  below  the  bulb  be- 
tween stones.  It  is  used  by  the  women  to  rub  over  their  bodies  to 
promote  health,  and  in  their  opinion  beauty ;  from  this  habit  they  have 
a  yellow  oily  appearance,  and  some  are  seen  who  are  of  a  saflron 

Tobacco  is  cultivated  in  quantities,  and  smoked  with  avidity.  They 
are  exceedingly  pleased  with  a  gift  of  it ;  however  small,  it  is  always 
thankfully  received ;  this,  however,  is  the  prevailing  taste  throughout 
Polynesia,  and  the  farther  west  one  travels,  the  more  the  natives  seem 
to  be  addicted  to  its  use. 

We  were  told  by  the  whites  of  a  native  nankeen-coloured  cotton : 
of  this  we  did  not  get  specimens ;  but  we  found  another,  which 
produces  a  fine  white  cotton.  They  have  also  the  cotton-tree  (Gossy- 
pium  herbaceum),  which  grows  to  the  height  of  fifteen  feet. 

The  Feejees  carefully  cultivate  the  paper  mulberry  (Broussonetia 
papyrifera),  from  which  they  make  their  tapa-cloth,  and  which  they 
call  malo.  The  plantations  of  this  tree  resemble  young  nurseries. 
The  plants  are  cut  down  when  the  stems  are  about  one  inch  in  dia- 
meter ;  the  bark  is  taken  off"  in  as  long  strips  as  possible,  sometimes 
the  whole  length  of  the  tree,  ten  or  twelve  feet ;  it  is  next  steeped  in 
water,  scraped  with  a  conch-shell  called  kaku,  and  then  macerated. 
When  thus  prepared  it  is  laid  on  a  log  (nondatua)  and  beaten  with  a 
mallet  (ike),  three  sides  of  which  are  grooved  longitudinally,  and  the 

VOL.  HI.  2D  43 

338  FEEJEE    GROUP, 

fourth  is  plain.  They  always  beat  two  strips  of  tapa  into  one,  for  the 
purpose  of  strengthening  its  fibres,  and  during  this  operation  it  is 
diminished  one-fourth  in  length.  The  bark  is  always  kept  moist  by 
water,  which  unites  with  the  gluten.  Although  it  contracts  in  length, 
a  piece  of  two  inches  wide  is  not  unfrequently  beaten  out  to  eighteen 
inches  in  width.  They  find  no  difficulty  in  joining  the  pieces  together, 
for  the  sap  is  sufficiently  tenacious  for  that  purpose,  and  the  junction 
is  often  so  neatly  done  as  to  escape  detection.  After  the  tapa  is  made, 
it  is  bleached  in  the  sun,  as  we  are  in  the  habit  of  doing  with  linen ; 
and  that  which  they  desire  to  have  figured,  undergoes  the  following 
process,  called  kesukesu.  Strips  of  bamboo,  of  the  size  of  the  little 
finger,  are  fastened  on  a  board ;  on  these  the  tapa  is  laid,  and  rubbed 
over  with  a  sort  of  dye,  or  juice,  from  the  fruit  of  the  laudi,  which 
only  adheres  to  the  tapa  where  it  touches  the  bamboo ;  it  is  then 
washed  w^ith  a  thin  solution  of  arrow-root,  which  gives  it  a  kind  of 
glazing.  Tapa-making  is  the  work  of  women,  who  are  generally 
employed  at  it  early  in  the  morning,  and  a  woman  can  make  ten 
fathoms  of  cloth  a  day.  The  tapa  is  also  printed  after  the  manner 
which  has  been  described  in  treating  of  the  Samoan  Group. 

The  bark  of  the  Hibiscus  tiliaceus  is  much  used  in  braiding  bands, 
&c. ;  for  this  purpose  it  is  first  steeped  in  water,  to  make  it  soft  and 
pliable;  of  it  the  women  make  their  liku,  which  is  a  band  beautifully 
braided,  about  three  inches  wide,  where  the  ends  of  the  bark  project 
so  as  to  form  a  fringe,  which  is  dyed  red  or  black.  This  is  the  only 
article  the  women  wear  to  cover  their  nakedness.  The  band  is  so 
plaited  as  to  be  a  little  elastic,  by  which  means  only  it  is  kept  on. 
The  manner  of  braiding  it  is  by  affixing  it  to  the  great  toe  of  the  right 

The  Pandanus  odoratissimus  furnishes  the  materials  for  their  mats, 


called  baya-baya ;  they  are  woven  in  the  same  manner  as  at  the  other 
islands,  only  they  appear  stronger,  more  firmly  made,  and  more 
suitable  for  the  purpose  to  which  they  are  applied, — that  of  covering 
the  floors. 

A  rattan  (Flagellaria)  is  used  for  making  baskets ;  for  this  purpose 
the  stem  is  split,  and  the  baskets  are  very  neatly  made.  It  is  also  used 
as  ties  for  the  fastening  of  houses. 

The  palm-tree  (Caryota)  is  used  for  rafters  in  building ;  its  straight 
stems,  with  its  hard,  durable,  and  tough  qualities,  render  it  well 
adapted  to  this  purpose.  The  stems  of  the  tree-fern  are  used  for  door- 

The  bamboo  is  here  used  for  vessels  to  contain  water,  and  also  for 
rafts,  which  the  natives  use  in  taking  fish.  Another  use  it  is  put  to, 
is  for  torches  to  light  them  in  their  evening  dances.  These,  with 
the  addition  of  cocoa-nut  oil,  give  a  good  light.  In  some  places  it 
forms  the  rafters  of  houses,  but  its  growth  is  confined  to  a  few  dis- 

The  iron-wood  (Casuarina  indica)  is  preferred  for  making  spears 
and  clubs ;  it  is  a  fine-grained  and  very  heavy  wood. 

The  old  pendent  roots  of  the  mangrove  are  used  for  their  bows, 
which  are  very  tough  and  elastic. 

A  species  of  pine,  called  by  the  natives  dackui,  resembling  the 
Kaurie  pine  of  New  Zealand,  is  found  on  several  of  the  islands,  more 
particularly  on  Vitilevu  and  Kantavu.  One  of  these  was  seen  growing 
near  Levuka,  that  measured  five  feet  in  diameter. 

The  yase,  or  sandalwood,  is  now  almost  entirely  destroyed,  but  our 
botanists  succeeded  in  getting  a  few  small  specimens  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Sandalwood  Bay.  The  natives  grate  it  on  the  mushroom 
coral,  (Fungia),  and  use  it  for  scenting  their  oil. 

The  soil  of  the  islands  consists  of  a  deep  loam,  of  a  yellowish  colour, 
with  a  large  portion  of  decayed  vegetable  matter ;  combined  as  this 
is  with  a  fine  climate,  and  abundance  of  water,  it  is  no  wonder  that 
all  the  native  plants,  as  well  as  those  introduced,  should  grow  with 
luxuriance,  and  be  prolific.  To  give  a  better  idea  of  the  rapidity  of 
the  vegetation,  Mr.  Brackenridge,  our  horticulturist,  gave  me  the 
following  memoranda  of  the  garden  which  he  planted. 

Turnips,  radish,  and  mustard  seed,  after  being  sown  twenty-four 
hours,  the  cotyledon  leaves  were  above  the  surface.  Melons,  cucum- 
bers, and  pumpkins,  spi'ung  up  in  three  days ;  beans  and  peas  made 
their  appearance  in  four.  In  four  weeks  from  the  time  of  planting, 
radishes  and  lettuce  were  fit  for  use,  and  in  five  weeks,  marrowfat 
peas.     Several  kinds  of  beets,  carrots,  leeks,  three  kinds  of  pole  with 

340  FEEJEE    GROUP. 

Windsor  and  long-pod  beans,  three  sorts  of  peas,  five  varieties  of 
gourds,  two  of  punapkins,  two  of  cucumbers,  three  varieties  of  musk 
and  water-melons,  two  kinds  of  turnips,  parsley,  cabbage,  cresses, 
several  kinds  of  small  salad,  a  few  tomatoes,  together  with  the  Peru- 
vian cherimoyer  and  Tahiti  orange,  were  vegetating  together,  and  I 
trust  will  establish  themselves  in  these  islands  for  the  benefit  not  only 
of  the  natives,  but  of  our  navigators  who  may  hereafter  visit  these 
parts  for  refreshments.  The  garden  was  left  under  the  charge  of 
David  Whippy,  a  native  of  New  Hampshire,  of  industrious  habits,  who 
I  trust  will  not  fail  to  take  the  best  means  to  preserve  and  perpetuate 
what  will  no  doubt  prove  a  great  blessing  to  the  future  population  of 
this  group. 

The  climate  of  the  Feejee  Islands  is  well  adapted  to  all  the  various 
tribes  of  tropical  plants,  and  to  not  a  few  of  those  of  the  temperate 
zone ;  for  many  of  the  islands  are  of  a  mountainous  character,  and 
numerous  localities  present  themselves  adapted  to  the  growth  of  the 

These  islands  were  once  covered  with  vegetation  from  the  coral 
reefs  to  the  top  of  their  highest  peaks,  but  below  the  elevation  of  one 
thousand  feet,  on  the  leeward  side  of  the  large  islands,  the  original 
vegetation  has  been  for  the  most  part  destroyed  by  the  fires  Vv'hich  the 
natives  use  to  clear  their  planting  grounds.  During  our  sojourn  we 
occasionally  saw  the  fire  running  over  vast  fields.  The  forest  above 
that  elevation,  having  escaped  its  ravages,  forms  umbrageous  masses, 
where  the  underwood  and  herbaceous  part  of  the  vegetation  disappear. 
As  the  ridges  and  summits  are  approached,  the  trees  become  more 
sparse,  giving  an  opportunity  to  the  numerous  species  of  ferns  (Filices), 
to  receive  both  light  and  air ;  these  are  found  in  great  quantities,  and 
varieties,  both  terrestrial  and  parasitical,  intermingled  with  various 
forms  of  epiphytical  orchidese,  and  many  mosses,  with  which  the  trees 
are  decked.  Climbing  plants  are  numerous,  but  are  found  chiefly  to 
prevail  around  the  margin  of  cultivated  patches  and  the  banks  of 
rivulets,  finding  there  more  nutriment  for  their  support.  Three  species 
of  Freycinetia,  a  melastomaceous  and  asclepiadeous  plant,  were  the 
only  climbers  observed  above  the  height  of  two  thousand  five  hundred 
feet.  The  lower  region  is  usually  appropriated  to  plantations  of  fruits 
and  roots.  The  yams  are  generally  planted  in  dry  open  situations,  but 
the  bananas  and  plantains  are  found  in  extensive  plantations,  growing 
in  rich  soil,  protected  by  the  bread-fruit  and  ivi  trees  from  the  violent 
winds  which  they  occasionally  experience.  The  plants  that  strike  the 
eye  of  a  stranger  visiting  these  islands,  are  those  immediately  above 
high-water  mark,  viz. :   Hibiscus  tiliaceus,  Barringtonia,   Hernandia 

FEEJEE    GROUP.  841 

sonora,  Erythrina  indica,  Cordia,  with  rich  yellow  flowers,  Xylo- 
carpus,  which  has  a  large  and  very  attractive-looking  yellow  fruit ;  a 
species  of  Ixora  and  a  Volkameria,  both  with  fragrant  blossoms  ;  the 
mangrove  (tiri  of  the  natives),  which  pushes  its  vegetation  even  into 
the  salt  water,  and  covers  large  tracts  of  coral  reefs  and  muddy 
creeks,  giving  a  beautiful  appearance  to  the  low  and  swampy  ground. 
The  last-named  plant  seems  peculiarly  adapted  to  this  situation,  and  it 
not  only  lives  and  thrives  in  salt  water,  but  the  young  plants  are  found 
pushing  themselves  towards  the  sea,  springing  from  the  chinks  and 
cracks  of  the  coral ;  they  are  frequently  overflowed  three  or  four  feet 
at  high  water,  but  they  nevertheless  contrive  to  hold  their  place,  and 
when  they  gain  sufficient  height,  they  again  send  forth  their  aerial 
roots,  which  descending,  soon  give  the  parent  stem  sufficient  support  to 
withstand  all  the  efforts  of  the  surf  to  displace  them. 

Our  botanists  were  extremely  industrious  in  collecting  in  this  new 
and  prolific  field.  The  list  of  the  plants  gathered  amounts  to  about  six 
hundred  and  fifty  species,  and  they  are  of  opinion,  that  many  more 
remain,  which,  at  some  future  day,  it  may  fall  to  the  lot  of  other  bota- 
nists to  collect.  This,  however,  cannot  happen  until  the  islands  shall 
have  become  more  civilized,  and  there  shall  be  some  safety  in  wander- 
ing into  the  mountain  regions,  which  is  now  attended  with  much 

The  labours  of  agriculture,  and  the  phenomena  of  vegetation,  serve 
as  the  foundation  of  their  calendar,  and  furnish  names  to  some  of  their 
months,  or  the  portions  into  which  they  divide  the  year.  Of  these  they 
reckon  eleven,  viz. : 

1.  Vulai  songa  sou  tombe  sou,  or  Nuga  leva  Reeds  blossom. 

2.  Vulai  songa  sou  seselieb  .         .         .  Build  yam-houses. 

3.  Vulai  Matua,  or  Endoye  doye         ' .         .  Yams  ripe. 
4^  Valai  mbota  mbota. 

5.  Vulai  kele  kele,  or  Vulai  mayo  mayo        .         Digging  yams. 

6.  Vulai  were  were      .....         Weeding  month. 

7.  Vulai  lou  lou Digging  ground  and  planting. 

8.  Vulai  Kawawaka. 

9.  Bololo  va  va  conde. 

10.  Bololo  lieb. 

11.  Numa  lieb,  or  Nuga  lai  lai. 

The  first  of  these  corresponds  nearly  to  January. 

The  month  of  Bololo  lieb  seems  to  be  the  only  one  that  is  astrono- 
mically determined ;  and  that  arrives  when  the  sun  is  over  a  particular 
part  of  Ambatiki,  an  island  in  sight  from  Ovolau. 

The  month  of  June  is  known  and  established  by  the  flowering  of  a 
vine,  that  is  found  on  the  shore,  called  tombebe. 


342  FEEJEE    GROUP, 

The  months  always  begin  with  the  new  moon,  which  is  called  Vula 
vou.  When  it  is  first  seen,  it  is  celebrated  by  shouting  and  beating  of 
drums.  This  takes  place  particularly  on  Vanua-levu,  or  the  Buia  land, 
as  it  is  sometimes  called. 

Connected  with  the  seasons,  is  a  singular  ceremony,  called  Tambo 
Nalanga,  which  takes  place  in  the  month  of  November,  and  lasts  four 
days.  At  the  commencement,  the  most  influential  matanivanua,  or 
landholder,  goes,  just  at  sunset,  without  the  koro,  or  town,  and  invokes, 
in  a  loud  voice,  the  spirit  of  the  sky  for  his  blessing,  good  crops,  &c. ; 
after  which  a  general  beating  of  sticks  and  drums,  and  blowing  of 
conchs,  takes  place  for  half  an  hour.  During  this  festival  every  one 
remains  shut  up,  without  labour;  and  so  strictly  is  it  kept,  that  not  even 
a  leaf  is  plucked  during  this  period,  nor  is  any  work  carried  on,  and 
all  the  offal,  &c.,  is  retained  in  the  houses.  The  men,  during  this 
period,  live  in  the  mbure,  and  feast  upon  the  balolo,  a  curious  sort  of 
salt-water  worm,  of  a  green  colour,  which  makes  its  appearance  about 
this  time ;  this  is  eaten  either  raw  or  cooked,  as  suits  their  fancy.  It 
is  generally  obtained  at  Wakaia.  At  daylight,  on  the  expiration  of  the 
four  days,  (or  rather  nights,  for  they  count  by  nights  instead  of  days,) 
the  whole  town  is  in  an  uproar,  both  men  and  boys  scampering  about, 
knocking  at  the  houses  with  clubs  and  sticks,  crying  out  "  Sinariba," 
after  which  the  ordinaiy  routine  takes  place.  This  ceremony,  I  was 
told,  was  only  practised  in  the  district  subject  to  Tui  Levuka. 

The  arms  of  the  Feejees  consist  of  spears,  clubs,  bows  and  arrows. 
The  spears  are  of  various  lengths,  from  ten  to  fifteen  feet ;  they  are 
made  of  cocoa-nut  wood,  and  are  used  at  times  with  great  dexterity. 
Some  parts  of  them  are  wound  round  with  sennit.  They  are  pointed, 
and  the  end  charred.  I  have  seldom  observed  any  that  had  any  other 
pointing  to  them,  although  sharp  bone  is  sometimes  used.  These  spears 
are  called  motu. 

They  have  several  kinds  of  clubs,  made  from  the  casuarina  (iron- 
wood).  That  which  they  prize  most  for  their  fights  is  called  maloma. 
The  larger  end  of  this  is  generally  the  part  of  a  tree  next  the  root.     It 

is  about  three  and  a  half  feet  long,  and  very  heavy.     They  frequently 
have  a  variety  of  figures  carved  upon  it. 

The  second  kind  of  long  club  is  peculiar  to  the  chief,  and  is  called 


airou.     It  is  somewhat  shovel-shaped,  and  eqaally  heavy,  and  with  it 
they  can  cleave  a  man  down. 

The  toka  is  the  name  of  another  club,  of  a  somewhat  peculiar  shape, 
being  bent  near  the  extremity,  and  having  a  large  knob  full  of  small 
points,  with  a  single  larger  point  projecting  from  it.  This  appears  to 
be  more  for  show  than  use. 

The  ula  is  a  short  club,  used  as  a  missile :  it  is  about  eighteen  inches 
long ;  the  handle  is  small,  and  at  the  end  is  a  natural  knot.  The  size 
of  the  end  is  as  large  as  an  eighteen-pound  ball.  Our  sailors  gave  this 
the  name  of  Handy  Billy,  and  it  is  almost  incredible  with  what  ac- 
curacy and  force  the  natives  can  throw  this  weapon. 

The  long  club  is  usually  carried  by  the  natives  over  the  shoulder, 
which,  on  meeting  another,  is  at  once  lowered  to  the  ground.  They 
are  never  to  be  found  without  the  ula,  which  is  usually  stuck  in  the 
girdle  behind. 

Their  bows  and  arrows  are  by  no  means  good.  The  former  are 
made  of  the  pendent  roots  of  the  mangrove;  the  latter  of  the  wild 
sugar-cane,  with  pieces  of  hard  wood  inserted,  that  have  been  charred : 
they  are  too  light  to  do  much  harm. 

There  are  many  of  these  clubs,  spears,  and  arrows  deposited  in  the 
mbure,  which  are  held  in  great  veneration.  Some  of  these,  that  they 
say  belong  to  the  spirit,  it  is  not  easy  to  buy  from  them.  If  a  price  is 
offered  for  one,  they  generally  answer,  that  it  belongs  to  the  spirit,  and 
cannot  be  sold.  In  hopes  of  a  higher  price,  however,  and  not  allowing 
the  purchaser  to  escape,  they  usually  offer  to  consult  the  spirit.  For 
this  purpose  they  take  up  any  thing  that  it  may  be  convenient  to  con- 
sider the  spirit  to  dwell  in,  and  then  name  the  spirit's  price  for  it. 
This  is  generally  twice  as  much  as  they  are  willing  to  take,  and  after 
several  consultations  the  first  offer  is  accepted. 

Besides  the  general  occupations  of  war  and  agriculture,  and  the 
barbers  we  have  mentioned  as  attending  on  the  chiefs,  the  men  carry 
burdens,  and  build  houses  and  canoes.  In  the  construction  of  these 
they  employ  persons  who  are  by  profession  carpenters,  and  who  are 
held  in  great  estimation. 

Their  houses  differ  from  those  of  the  other  groups,  although  they  are 
constructed  of  similar  materials.  The  frame  and  sills  are  made  of  the 
cocoa-nut  and  tree-fern  ;  they  have  two  doorways,  on  opposite  sides. 


F  E  E  J  E  E    GROUP. 

from  three  to  four  feet  high,  and  four  feet  wide ;  the  posts  are  set  in 
the  gi'ound,  and  are  placed  about  three  feet  apart ;  the  rafters  of  the 
pahn  tree  are  set  upon  a  plate,  resting  on  the  post;  these  have  a  very 
steep  pitch,  and  support  a  cocoa-nut  log,  that  forms  the  peak  of  the 
roof;  the  ends  of  the  peak  extend  beyond  the  thatching  at  each  end, 
and  are  covered  v^'ith  shells  (Cyprsea  ovula).  The  thatching  is  peculiai", 
being  thickest  at  the  eaves ;  to  make  the  roof  they  begin  at  the  peak, 
whence  they  thatch  down  with  the  wild  sugar-cane,  under  which  they 
place  fern-leaves.  These  gradually  increase  in  quantity  until  they 
reach  to  the  eaves,  which  are  about  two  or  three  feet  thick,  project 
some  distance  over  the  sides,  and  are  cut  off'  square. 


The  sides  are  closed  in  with  small  cane,  in  square  wicker-work,  and 
not  in  diamond-shape,  as  those  of  Tonga.  Mats  are  hung  before  the 
doors.  The  mbures  are  built  after  the  same  manner,  but  the  roofs  are 
more  peaked  ;  they  are  generally  fifteen  or  twenty  feet  square,  and 
about  thirty  feet  high,  and  have  an  exceedingly  awkward  appearance 
in  our  eyes.  The  common  houses  are  oblong,  from  twenty  to  thirty 
feet  in  length,  and  fifteen  feet  high.  Some  of  the  best  class  of  buildings, 
belonging  to  the  chiefs,  are  exceedingly  well  and  ingeniously  built.  If 
a  person  wishes  to  build  a  house,  he  carries  a  present  of  a  whale's 
tooth  to  the  king  or  chief,  and  tells  him  his  wish,  the  size,  &c.  The 
king  or  chief  orders  the  men  who  are  generally  employed  for  such 
purposes,  to  prepare  the  timber,  and  get  all  things  ready.  The  direc- 
tion of  the  work  is  given  to  some  one  as  the  chief  superintendent,  and 
from  one  to  five  hundred  men  are  employed,  as  may  be  deemed 
necessary.  The  house  is  finished  in  ten  or  fifteen  days,  and  will  last 
about  five  years  without  repairs  to  its  thatching.  They  are,  however, 
generally  considered  as  tenantable  for  twenty  years,  or  upwards.  All 
the  houses  have  fire-places  a  little  on  one  side  of  the  centre ;  these  are 
nothing  more  than  an  ash-pit,  with  a  few  large  stones  to  build  the  fire 



and  place  the  pots  on.  The  same  kind  of  fire-place  is  to  be  found  in 
the  mbures,  where  a  fire  is  kept  burning  night  and  day,  which  they 
believe  the  kalou  or  spirit  requires.  The  houses  generally  are  not 
divided  by  partitions,  but  at  each  end  they  are  raised  about  a  foot 
above  the  centre  floor.  These  elevations  are  for  sleeping,  and  are 
covered  with  layers  of  mats  until  they  are  soft  and  pleasant  to  lie  on. 
In  sleeping  they  use  a  pillow  made  of  a  piece  of  bamboo  or  other 
species  of  wood,  about  two  inches  in  diameter,  with  four  legs;  this  is 
placed  immediately  under  the  neck,  and  is  sufficiently  high  to  protect 
their  large  head  of  hair  from  being  disarranged. 

From  the  constant  use  of  this  pillow,  a  scirrhous  lump,  as  large  as 
a  goose-egg,  is  often  formed  on  the  nape  of  the  neck.  This  pillow  was 
undoubtedly  brought  into  use  to  protect  their  peculiar  fashion  of 
wearing  their  hair ;  and  from  the  inquiries  made,  I  found  it  had  been 
used  from  time  immemorial.  Many  of  these  pillows  are  carved  and 
ornamented,  and  a  chief  always  travels  with  his  own.  The  kai-si  or 
common  people  make  themselves  temporary  ones. 

The  Feejee  canoes  are  superior  to  those  of  ^the  other  islands.  They 
are  generally  built  double,  and  those  of  the  largest  size  are  as  much 
as  one  hundred  feet  in  length.  The  two  parts  of  which  the  double 
canoe  is  composed  are  of  different  sizes,  and  are  united  by  beams,  on 
which  a  platform  is   laid.     The   platform  is  about  fifteen  feet  wide, 


and  extends  two  or  three  feet  beyond  the  sides.  The  smaller  of  the 
two  canoes  serves  as  an  out-rigger  to  the  other.  The  bottom  of  each 
of  the  canoes  is  of  a  single  plank  ;  the  sides  are  fitted  to  them  by  dove- 
tailing, and  closely  united  by  lashings  passed  through  flanges  left  on 
each  of  the  pieces.  The  joints  are  closed  by  the  gum  of  the  bread- 
voL.  III.  44 


fruit  tree,  which  is  also  used  for  smearing  them  over.  They  have 
generally  a  depth  of  hold  of  about  seven  feet,  and  the  two  ends, 
for  a  length  of  about  twenty  feet,  are  decked  over  to  prevent  the  canoe 
from  shipping  seas.  Amidships  they  generally  have  a  small  thatched 
house  or  cuddy,  to  protect  the  crew  from  the  weather,  above  which 
is  a  staging,  on  which  there  is  space  for  several  people  to  sit.  The 
frames  of  the  canoes  which  belong  to  chiefs  are  much  ornamented 
with  shells. 

The  sails  are  so  large  as  to  appear  out  of  all  proportion  to  the  vessel, 
and  are  made  of  tough  yet  pliable  mats.  The  mast  is  about  half  the 
length  of  the  canoe,  and  the  yard  and  boom  are  usually  twice  as  long 
as  the  mast.  The  mast  is  stepped  on  deck  in  a  chock.  The  figure 
on  the  preceding  page  represents  one  of  these  canoes. 

The  halyards  are  passed  over  a  crescent  on  the  head  of  the  mast. 
These  are  bent  on  nearly  the  length  of  the  mast,  from  the  tack  of  the 

The  natives  are  very  expert  in  managing  these  vessels,  and  it 
requires  no  small  skill  in  beating  against  the  wind  to  do  so.  In 
sailing  the  canoe,  it  is  always  necessary  that  the  out-rigger  should  be 
towards  the  weather  side ;  this  is  easily  effected  by  proper  care ;  the 
mode  of  tacking  becomes  therefore  curious,  and  is  performed  by  put- 
ting the  helm  up  instead  of  down.  When  the  wind  is  thus  brought  aft, 
the  tack  of  the  sail  is  carried  to  the  other  end  of  the  canoe,  which  now 
becomes  the  bow,  and  the  course  on  the  other  tack  is  then  pursued. 
If  the  out-rigger  gets  to  leeward  while  the  canoe  is  under  sail,  some 
accident  always  happens,  for  no  kind  of  vessel  is  so  easily  overturned ; 
and  yet,  when  they  are  properly  managed,  they  will  carry  sail  when 
it  blows  heavily,  and  still  preserve  almost  an  upright  position  :  this  is 
effected  by  the  natives  going  out  on  the  out-rigger,  and  thus  counter- 
balancing the  force  of  the  wind  by  their  weight.  The  canoes  are 
made  of  logs  hollowed  out  and  built  upon,  and  show  a  great  deal  of 
ingenuity :  they  are  capable  of  making  long  voyages.  The  only  food 
they  provide  themselves  with  for  sea,  is  said  to  be  yams.  Altogether, 
they  have  a  pretty  effect,  covered  as  they  are  with  white  shells 
(Cyprsea  ovula),  and  ornamented  by  white  pennants.  They  use  cocoa- 
nut  shells  to  preserve  their  water  in,  and  with  a  fire  and  ava-bowl  are 
equipped  for  sea. 

It  is  the  custom  for  the  chief  always  to  hold  the  end  of  the  sheet ; 
thus  it  is  his  task  to  prevent  the  danger  of  upsetting.  They  steer  with 
an  oar  having  a  large  blade.  In  smooth  water  these  canoes  sail  with 
great  swiftness,  but  from  the  weight  and  force  of  the  sail  they  are 
much  strained,  leaking  at  times  very  badly,  requiring  always  one  and 



sometimes  two  men  to  be  constantly  baling  out  the  water.  Notwith- 
standing all  this,  they  make  very  long  voyages, — to  Tonga,  Rotuma, 
and  the  Samoan  Islands.  The  canoes  are  generally  built  of  the  vas 

The  planks  are  brought  into  and  kept  in  shape  by  small  ribs,  almost